December 31, 2011
Looking at photos and revisiting 2011 is like revisiting another time. I don’t know how to say how much I’ve grown or how much I’ve stayed the same. Most of the time, I can’t even tell myself.

the last morning in tahoe
lady audley's secret

It was a year of staying up late. To finish books, blog posts or conversations with a boy. Early mornings were rare, but they were never difficult.

cake and plate
alice's old recipe books

Food was more present. Is that possible? I forgot to add flour on multiple occasions. And once, my cupcakes exploded. But these were mistakes that make the kitchen my second favorite place to be (first is my bed). Between taking photos for the Daily, coming home to my apartment’s Susie Homemaker dinners and testing recipes myself, it’s a wonder I was ever hungry.

pretty in black and white

I shot my first real photoshoot. In a cemetery. It was kind of awkward because I’m awkward, but they were my first baby steps.

pancakes for breakfast
glass + light

My apartment. Our apartment. I’d like to think that fate brought us together, but we chose each other. So let’s give credit where credit is due, right? We went to the snow, made pancake balls, played board games until 4 am. We made time for breakfast, we surprised each other for birthdays, we had the best “last dinner” all together. Alessandro was up year-round.

birthday tulips from alice (david's mom)
meeting joseph gordon-levitt during hitrecord at the movies

I turned 22. And met Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (!!!)


It was a year of insecurity. I graduated. Graduated. And while everyone else knew their life plans, I couldn’t decide what to have for breakfast. Most of the time, I just skipped it.

loving the light

So I went to Europe. At first it was hard but then it was so, so good. This trip was all about the kindness of others and serendipity.

like a mille crêpe
the steps from vanessa's flat

Strangers welcomed me into their homes. I learned how to make crepes. I stayed in the tiniest, coziest Parisian flat with the sweetest girl. I didn't go to a single museum in Paris.

favorite feet of the trip
inside-out profiteroles
stopping on the way home

I found a new home in Denmark and ate too many Danish desserts.

by giacomo

I fell in love with Italian lakes.

raiza's first hot cocoa

I came home to even more love.


I went through a quarter-life crisis. I interviewed for dozens of jobs and sent out twice as many applications. The crisis isn’t over yet.

the best picture ever

I learned a lot from a boy. He helped me see things in ways that always made them better. And I loved him even more. (And I've never been more proud of a present I've given someone.)

crab & scallop endive salad
scone, berries & clotting cream

I discovered the best food with my best friends. I couldn't be happier to call California home.


I went to life-changing concerts.

my feet, as always

My feet were well-traveled and my heart was full.

2011, thank you.
Welcome, 2012.

And you, dear friends: wishing you all the light and hope of a new year.

raine's first tea

December 30, 2011
tea pots galore
raine's first tea

Raine's first tea was actually hot chocolate. Alice invited us out to Lovejoy's for a holiday afternoon tea just for the girls. It was Raine's first time meeting most of the women in David's family (his mother, grandmother, two sisters and aunt were all there!) and I think she loved it.

egg salad and smoked salmon sandwiches
she was all into the jelly & cream cheese
glitter nails
the tea room
the tea room
mildred and raine
claire's petit four
baby [hairs]
my feet, as always
hoping that someone reads my tea leaves

We, of course, ate like queens and Raine was the most patient little girl you could have imagined. Everything for her seemed to come last but she always remembered her please, thank yous, and no thank yous. She had her own tier of fruit, cookies, jelly-and-cream-cheese sammies and a scone all to herself. And her own pot of hot chocolate and a cup of whipped cream.

She was in little girl heaven. (To be honest, I was in little girl heaven, too.) Alice was the sweetest for inviting us and making it such a lovely afternoon.

on growing up

December 29, 2011
at the door to greet me

It was one of those days when you realize you're growing up but you can't do anything about it. And maybe that's a good thing.

telling all about her engagement

A few of my high school girlfriends got together at Sara's after Christmas just to catch up. For the most part, we all went to different colleges and we live all over California (and now Arizona) so it's easy to get caught up in the current everyday. Work, school or whatever gets in the way so reuniting and just being together again is perfect.

emily is engaged!!!

And then you find out that one of your girlfriends just got engaged on Christmas Eve!!! We're all talking casually when Emily says, "So. I got a really great present for Christmas," and puts her new ring on. (And we squeal in excitement/delight, of course).

the ring
christmas leftovers
kale, stuffing, sweet potatoes and lasagna- yum
checkin' out the bling
gettin' ready
some of the girls
life is good

So even though we'll go weeks without talking to one another, I'll always cherish little moments like this-- that Emily waited to tell us in person. I didn't see it on my facebook news feed and I didn't hear it from anyone else.

Of course, this also means that we're getting older. We're growing up. It's a little intimidating but I can manage small steps.

Just add a few hours of conversation and Christmas leftovers and let me reminisce about that Monday afternoon.