washi tape detailing

January 31, 2012
decorating with washi tape

Since starting my new job (!), I've noticed that almost everyone in our office has the same Mac products. While this makes for a very aesthetically pleasing workplace, it also means everyone's equipment is almost identical.

So in taking my first steps to set my stuff apart, I added a little washi tape to my laptop charger. What I did was:

1. Cover the apple logo with a piece of washi tape.
2. Lightly trace the apple outline with a pencil.
3. Remove the tape, cut along the lines, and reapply the tape.
4. If your cut isn't perfect, trim the tape as needed.

I'm sure there's a more precise way to do this-- perhaps with a cutting board and an exacto knife-- but I did this during the last half of my lunch break.

And for anyone looking for washi tape, I found mine in San Francisco's Japantown but these guys have a great collection.

chit chat on the pier

January 30, 2012

There are two Chit Chat Cafes in Pacifica-- the one I went to with Chelsey and this one on the town pier.

jars and flavors

I went to elementary school just a few blocks from this pier and for the longest time, never went into the building because I had no idea what it was. I finally ventured in earlier this month and after speaking to a staff member named Don and a few regulars, I learned it was a bait shop up until several years ago.

my mocha
view of the pier

Today it's a cozy little coffee/lunch/bait hub. I met another Don, who comes almost every day to walk along the beach path. And I met Jerry and Jim (below), who were both kind and filled with stories. They invited me to sit with them and asked me about myself after I learned about them (Jerry is a retired SF firefighter and Jim retired from the navy and shared all about his travels in Asia before the Korean War.)

jerry and jim
on the beach
breaking waves

While I sat with Jim and Jerry, several people peeked in to say "hello," check in with Jim, and tell him that if he needed a ride anywhere to just call. Everyone seemed to be on a first-name basis and long-time friends united through this little cafe at the pier.

As far as cafes go, this one isn't fancy. They use paper cups, they have the standard chalkboard menu, and I don't think they've ever been featured in a food-centric publication. But the space is so special because of the people that come, who know each other by name and make your morning cup on the beach that much more special.

poached egg over lemony kale and polenta

January 27, 2012
poached egg

This recipe is up on The Violet blog today!

Happy Friday!

courtney marie andrews

January 26, 2012
courtney marie andrews

A few months ago, I saw Jimmy Eat World and on stage with them was Courtney Marie Andrews. I didn't know who she was at the time, but after saying hello post-concert and looking up her music afterward, I wrote to her to see if I could catch her before she left San Francisco.

courtney at little bird
on the rocks
sutro baths

Some things to know about Courtney:

She's from Phoenix. She wrote her first song when she was 14 and began touring at 17. This past summer, she toured Europe with just two backpacks and her guitar. She recorded live performances in Cologne and the Paris Montmartre cemetery. She's her own manager and books gigs herself. Her dream tour would consist of smaller, seated venues and her friends The Pioneers of Primetime TV opening for her. She just began her 2012 American tour and is probably coming to a city near you (and if she's not, she's open to requests).

I recommended her latest album in the newest issue of The Violet (p. 23) because I think her music is truly beautiful. It's honest and delicate and poetic. This was the first song I fell in love with but it was only a matter of time before I couldn't choose a favorite.

a reminder

January 25, 2012
sunset over pacifica

my first book

January 24, 2012
For Christmas I put together a little book of photos from Denmark to give to my Italo-Danese host parents, Maibritt and Luciano. Denmark is so special to me now that I've experienced it with them and when I began to put together the book, I knew words would play second fiddle to the photographs. It's simple, short, in Italian and one of my favorite presents I've ever gifted. It's so gratifying seeing your own work in print. I highly recommend it.

in denmark, with love
to maibritt & luciano

To Maibritt and Luciano. Thank you very much. I miss you every day.

in denmark

In Denmark, the true country of the beautiful life.


I'm lucky. For many years my feet have been searching for something but I did not know what. Maybe a place of tranquility. A place where my heart rests secure. A home.

Today I still do not know what it is. But I found it in Denmark.


But in the end, the most important thing was not the country. It was my family, so kind and compassionate, teaching me about life and the world.

with love, celeste

With love, Ciccia (pronounced chee-cha, what Maibritt would call me)/ Light Blue ("Celeste" means light blue in Italian, what Luciano would call me)/ Celeste


PS - Thanks to my big brother for hand-modeling.
PPS - I'm off to my first day at my new job!!

the violet

January 23, 2012

The winter issue of The Violet is out today! These past few weeks working with the Violet ladies have been wonderful and it's amazing to see how all of our hard work has paid off.

violet winter recommendations
violet photo of the pacific

Molly's narrative on eggs and Ashlee and Camilla's brunch spread are my favorites. My book, music and film recommendations can be found on page 23; as well as some of my favorite photos of the Pacific sky on 26 and 77.

Check it out! And Happy Monday!

a new beginning

January 20, 2012
oh, the places you'll go

I finally got it. The email.

Less than three days after I spilled my guts to blogland, David and I were heading out to our favorite phở place when I glanced at my email and stopped.

This is the reason why I was still abroad so I couldn't come in to interview for my "dream job"
Why I spent hours in rush hour three times in one week (for one job) only to never hear back again
Why I forgot to send a follow-up email for my other "dream job"
Why dozens of applications were left without response
Why I spent a week on writing samples to only never hear back again (again)
Why a magazine felt "my personality" wasn't the best fit
Why my Excel "Jobs" spreadsheet kept growing and growing

Until now. Do you remember this post? Well after an email last Monday, a phone interview on Tuesday, a three-hour-six-person interview on Wednesday and a last-minute Skype interview on Thursday...

I was offered a position at Airbnb. Which I (ecstatically) accepted.

I'm so excited for this next chapter in my life-- I had to share the happy news. Thanks for stickin' around. I'll try to repay you in delicious sticky recipes.

*Photo from Jess & Luke's, my Airbnb hosts in London.

crown & crumpet (raiza's first tea)

January 19, 2012
the cup was almost as big as her face
off the menu
scones and crumpets
itty bitty raiza
with her digital camera
angry raiza
truer words

Unlike her big sister Raine, Raiza was a handful during her first tea (which wasn't actually tea but apple juice). I can't really blame her. If I was 2 years old and found myself in a brightly colored room with pretty objects and candy galore, I would run around wild, too.

The spilt water, the goldfish everywhere, the chase around the tea shop and the loud, occasional "HIIIIIIIII"s to the strangers behind us were well worth seeing her itty bitty fingers grasp a cup that was almost as big as her face.

photos by raiza

January 18, 2012
photos by raiza
photos by raiza
photos by raiza
photos by raiza
photos by raiza

Photos by Raiza, my two year old niece.

The best part is that she grabs the camera, shuts both eyes and holds the camera to the side of her face as she clicks away. Cuteness overload.