May 31, 2011
salmon and avo
little raiza
raine and chop chop
caramel chocolate cake
I love long weekends! Especially when they include nieces, wine & cheese surprise birthday parties, and sushi.

In exactly one week I will be done with everything school related (that is, finals and final projects) and earlier tonight I just finished my last college essay ever (in Italian and about food blogs! go figure).

I'm looking around my little room and remembering the day I moved in last September. I made David get up at 8 in the morning because I wanted to be here early. I met Jenna for the first time in the parking lot. I rearranged the furniture and removed the closet doors.

Now my room is a disaster. Everything is unkept and sprawled out so I can "get to it" once I'm done with all of my school work. On my last day I don' t think I'll have David with me, Jenna is already moved out, and I have to move the furniture back to where it originally was.

I feel like I'm completing some kind of circle. This room will be exactly as it was when I first moved in (assuming I can replace those closet doors correctly...) and it'll be like I was never here. It's a life lesson I'd never expected from college.

In other news, I went to see Bridesmaids with David and cried during almost the entire movie. I'm not sure what was wrong, I just couldn't help it.

jenny & johnny (but mostly jenny)

May 27, 2011
I'm not usually one to go to concerts on Wednesday nights (especially during school), but I'll make the exception for Jenny Lewis. Just about this time two years ago I saw her at the Rio in Santa Cruz for the first time and she blew my mind.

This year she's touring under the act of "Jenny and Johnny" (with Jonathan Rice). I will be honest-- I was a little grumpy. The show was supposed to start at 8. The first act didn't play until 9:15. And Jenny and Johnny didn't play until 11:30. So I didn't get home until 1:30.. and I had a presentation due in twelve hours which I hadn't started yet. But once they got on stage it was just fun to see them perform. So much passion on one little stage. (But really, The New Parish is tiny).

But Thursday came and went, and I survived! Concerts are worth it. Especially when you go early to stand front row and make new friends.

sunday brunch

May 24, 2011
whole grain banana pancakes
fucking fantastic
tristan's pop-overs
full house
Sunday brunch with the busiest kitchen and a fun mix of different foods. When my friend Carol invited us to brunch, I had no idea that it would consist of 10-15 people in one kitchen all working on different things. It was hectic but it was so funny to witness and be apart of. I worked on scrambled eggs while Carol made pancakes while Tristan made pop-overs while Jeff made Gerald's "fucking fantastic french toast" (see above). And so on. In addition we had fresh fruit, pita and garlic hummus, and potato pancakes. I'm pretty sure I'm missing a lot, too.

Usually, this kind of chaos can be overwhelming but on Sunday it just made me laugh.


May 23, 2011
funny face
thyme garden
petals at david's doorstep
vanilla shake + trivia
window decorations
mini chess
white fences
It's always so good to spend a weekend in Santa Cruz. After a crazy week and another crazy week to come, I couldn't have been happier with the perfect weather and time with David.

Within minutes of arriving on Friday, we went to David's neighbor's for a fresh crab dinner, complete with lemon butter and No Strings Attached. We went to see more friends and played a fun game called Bang, which has instructions in Italian on every card. Even though it was past midnight when we left, when I spotted a big beautiful moon I decided to chase it to take some photos for my photography class. Sweet David came with me and made sure I was okay as I stood at the Capitola beach cliffs at 2 am waiting for the moon to come out from behind the clouds.

Then it was long naps, neighborhood yard sales (2 blouses and one dress for $11 total!), late nights with friends, and Sunday brunch. I'm already counting down to next weekend.

PS- The first photo is from watching Funny Face at the Stanford Theater before I went to Santa Cruz. After watching the film on VHS dozens and dozens of times while growing up, I didn't think it was possible to find new ways to love the movie-- but on the big screen, anything is possible.

PPS- Is it me, or did Michael Jackson totally rip some of his moves and wardrobe from Audrey's dance scene in the Parisian cafe?

montepulciano (aka new moon's volterra)

May 19, 2011
new moon
hill towns
city center
as seen during:

Among my last few days in Florence, my language partner, Giacomo, and I took a day trip to some of the tiny little Tuscan hill towns. After seeing beauties like San Gimignano and Siena, Montepulciano and Pienza were also on my list. Of course, as you can tell, there were other motives for wanting to go to Montepulciano.

For some reason, the directors of New Moon decided to use Montepulciano as Volterra (instead of the real Volterra) and it was really strange to think that a multi-million dollar film was made in the tiny, deserted town we visited. And as excited as I was to be there because I like Twilight (I'm not obsessed), the town was gorgeous and charming on its own.

Snow-capped fields in the distance, steep hills reminiscent of San Francisco, and a cute little lunch in a tiny restaurant near the main piazza. Even more than that, I loved that I got to visit the town with Giacomo. It takes a lot of patience to travel with me (I like to stop and take photos too much) but it was the perfect trip together after fortuitously meeting through a language-partner exchange. Grazie mille, Giacomo! Mi manchi!

PS - This post is also dedicated to my sister, who shamelessly indulges in this series with me, and who just got her U.S. Citizenship yesterday! (Congrats Ate! Love you).

monday breakfast

May 17, 2011
mimosa & mint
anna working on the mimosas
leek & asparagus quiche by anna
pretty sarah
perfect in the morning
Somehow, April was one of the craziest months and all of a sudden May is half-way over. With less than a month until graduation, Anna, Sarah, and I are trying to do more "roomie" things together before the year is over without us realizing it. The only problem? As much as we want to do things together, we will always have schedules that don't always work out for things like weekend brunch.

The solution? Monday morning breakfast. Complete with fresh mimosas, asparagus + leek quiche, pancakes, and a fruit salad. I may have felt in "weekend mode" for a few hours post-breakfast, but it sure made me enjoy Monday mornings more than I usually do.


May 16, 2011
Sometimes you just want to keep your weekend to yourself, you know?
(in the good way)

birthday lunch

May 11, 2011
foccaccia + sun dried tomato spread
with ate ping
clam chowder
sisters + cousins
chocolate mousse!
I may have mentioned it in the past, but late April/early May is birthday season for my family. My sisters and I all have birthdays within 15 days of one another (April 26th, May 1st, May 6th). This year we really just wanted to spend a celebratory day together so we went to an early bird showing of Water for Elephants (so good!) then drove to San Mateo for lunch at Pasta Primavera.

As most of you know, I've never been one to turn down Italian food so this little lunch was perfect. I can never resist ravioli but the tiramisu for dessert was the icing on the cake (or rather... the cocoa powder on the tiramisu...). I think it's been a while since we've gone out to eat with just the four of us, but sitting and sharing bites of everything always comes naturally. We are sisters,* after all.

*Technically, Kristine (bottom left) is our cousin, but we always include her in our "sister activities."