Friday, September 30, 2011

A Day of Brewing

Yesterday I had the opportunity to shadow Dave, one of our fantastic brewers! It was a long, hard, sweaty ten-hour shift, and by the end of the day I was covered in hops and hives, but the experience was well worth it! I wish I could say I am now an expert on craft beer, but there is so much more to the process than I ever realized.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Birthday Weekend

My goodness, turning 28 has been fun!

Friday evening a friend came into the city for dinner, drinks and a sleepover at my place. It was my millionth time dining at Dosa, but first time at their Fillmore location. I've always been afraid to branch out beyond their restaurant on Valencia because I was afraid it might ruin a good thing. I'm sure glad I did, because the Fillmore location is about five times the size and the decor is to die for!


Saturday morning, we headed downtown for Yoga for Hope, San Francisco's annual yoga fundraising event for City of Hope, a brilliant research and treatment hospital in Southern California, specializing in cancer, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. It was an unbelievably sunny day in Union Square, perfect for sweating through a couple hours worth of yoga workshops and demonstrations. There were a handful of sponsor booths with samples. Worth mentioning were the chocolate flavored Zico coconut water - holy cow! And the fig-blueberry-wheat grass smoothies at the Whole Foods booth - oh yum!

After Yoga for Hope, I hopped over the bridge to Oakland to attend the annual fundraising dinner for Little Flock Children's Homes near Chennai, India, which my Aunt Viji started. There are currently 48 children living there, many of whom were orphaned after the 2004 tsunami. Little Flock's mission is not to have the children adopted but to raise them in a Godly, family-like environment and to provide academic and career opportunities to them as young adults. 

Sunday morning I met up with a few friends at The Phoenix Hotel for a Sunday Funday event called The Do Over. Even though we RSVP'd, we stood in line for ages. Thanks to the liquor store across the street, we didn't mind.

This morning there was delivery of Mrs. Field's cookies from my parents, one coworker brought me flowers, and another bought me a burrito for lunch- heck yes! I had to "work" late, but who could mind when the extra hours entailed entertaining guests and industry professionals at our kick-off party for San Francisco Cocktail Week!

 What more could a girl ask for? I am oh-so blessed by the people in my life! Cheers to another wonderful year shared with all of you!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Little Pink Drill

Fact: I'm a girlie-girl. Fact: I'm an incredibly stubborn and independent girl. 
I'm pretty sure whoever first decided that a full-size, pink power drill ought to exist had me in mind. My grandparents bought me this one by Little Pink Drill as a housewarming gift last month! I named her "Towanda" (If that doesn't make sense to you, go rent Fried Green Tomatoes immediately). 

Despite my miserable failure of an attempt at hanging curtain rods last weekend, I'm determined to master this thing! My friend and former coworker Kirstin is sleeping over tonight, and, while she doesn't realize it yet, this little girls' night in is actually a ploy to get those curtains hung. Being a home-owner has turned her into a DIY rock star!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Staying Warm in the Sunset

I live in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco where it's cold all the time. Literally, all year around I wake up to my car dripping wet and fog so thick sometimes I can't see past my block. I'm pretty stingy on utilities so I try to find practical ways to stay cozy in my little flat without turning on my heater. 
Here are some of my favorites... 

Socks and slippers galore! I live in my white booties. They're oh so cozy! But my knock-off Ugg slippers and those thick knitted socks sure get a lot of wear too. Cooking and baking is an easy way to warm the place up and it forces me to eat real food instead of living off of take-out. Hats! I've never thought of myself as a hat person, but for a long time I didn't think I could pull off big earrings either (thanks Kirstin!). My favorite place to shop for cheap, fun winter accessories like hats and scarves is definitely H&M.

Speaking of scarves... They're my fall weather obsession. I've got a drawer full. My favorite black one was stolen a few months ago and I've been on the hunt for a replacement ever since. I've also been trying to find extra long ones that wrap around several times instead of hanging down in the front. I've seen them in photos but never been able to track one down for myself, so I was thrilled to find a long, black one at Nordstrom Rack on my lunch break last week! And for so cheap! I'll have to keep checking back there to see if any other colors come in.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day Weekend in Amador County

I spent Labor Day weekend in Amador County, one of my favorite Northern California gems! My grandparents have lived in Jackson (yes, there's more there than an Indian casino) for 20 years, so I have plenty of wonderful childhood memories there. But it has been especially delightful to explore the area in new ways as an adult.

Thanks to a LivingSocial Escapes deal, I stayed two nights at the St. George Inn in Volcano. The LivingSocial deal came with a bottle of local wine, two $20 vouchers to the Jackson Rancheria casino, and a discount voucher for dinner in the St. George restaurant.

A scenic 15 minute drive away from the St. George is Sutter Creek, a quaint town known for having the most thriving boutiques and antique shops in Amador County. My favorite is Tomorrow's Heirlooms. They carry the most darling women's clothing and paper goods! Another favorite is Tea Eras. Their menu allows you to choose from a variety of tea, pastry and lunch items, and their gift shop guarantees you won't leave empty handed.

While Jackson doesn't have quite as many shops, don't overlook their downtown. There's a great kitchen store, candy and ice cream shop (we're talking troughs of salt water taffy, people!), and a handful of unique boutiques and antique shops. I would also recommend popping by the Kennedy Mine. It's a great piece of California history!

Two must-sees that I didn't hit last weekend but did enjoy while I was in the area a couple months ago, are Daffodil Hill and Indian Grinding Rock. Daffodil Hill is seasonal, so be sure to check online before you visit to make sure the flowers are in bloom. Grinding Rock has tours but can also be explored on your own.