9 Favorite Moments of 2013

Looking back on this past year is not only fun, but also helps me to define goals and shape the coming year. Looking at these moments, I’m thinking I should do lots more traveling in 2014. Maybe I’ve become slightly addicted. Here are my favorite moments of this year:

Exploring San Francisco has been a blast. I’ve lived here for five years now and keep discovering new places. A couple of favorite spots we discovered this year were Bernal Heights Park and Sutro Baths. We also had an insanely great meal and memorable night with friends at Murray Circle at Cavallo Point. Cavallo Point Hotel would also be a romantic place to stay if you’re visiting the San Francisco area.

West Elm Bed  |  Ikea Rug  |  Vintage Floating Side Table  |  Design House of Stockholm Work Lamp  |  Dwell Studio Bedding

This year we decided to redecorate our bedroom. I love switching things up every so often to keep things fresh. Probably 50% of our stuff now has come from the Alameda Flea Market, one of our favorite spots. It’s open the first Sunday of every month. Even if we don’t find anything that we’re looking for, there are always food trucks. You can’t lose.

For the 4th of July, I spent the weekend with Rich and my parents in Yosemite. I was sincerely blown away by everything I saw, and I wanted to turn around and go back as soon as we left. Some of my favorite moments there were Vernal Falls where you hike right alongside of waterfalls that mist you as you go, and seeing the giant Sequoias in Mariposa Grove. It put things in perspective to realize how small we actually are.

I’ve gained a new appreciation for flying this year. It gets a bad rep because of long lines at airports, but I think going up into the sky and seeing views like this far outweighs that. I now see it as an added bonus to traveling.

Rich and I got to travel to New York a few times this year. We always have a blast seeing all of our friends and exploring new neighborhoods. This year, we stayed at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg for the first time and loved every second of it. We were there in the Summer, and spent every night out on our balcony or up at their rooftop bar.

A year in California isn’t complete without a trip to Palm Springs. I surprised Rich with a trip for his birthday this year. We rented a house off of Airbnb, and the two of us got to spend the weekend together swimming in the pool and cooking late night on the grill. It was the perfect weekend with my guy.

For my birthday, he took me to see Oh Land at the Independent, which was my favorite show of the year!

Working at ShopStyle this year, I got to fly down to LA for a few fun things. Early in the year, I went down for the PopSugar live Oscars viewing party. Later in the year I did some yoga poses for our PopSugar Active app, and recently I went to help out with a ShopStyle photo shoot that mimics the new ShopStyle campaign. (maybe you’ve seen billboards or buses with ShopStyle on them?!)

This was only a couple of weeks ago, but staying in a yurt next to a cliff in Hawaii was definitely a top moment. You can read more about that trip here!

Last but not least, I had some amazing friends and family to spend it all with. A year would be nothing without that.

Thanks for reminiscing with me!

-sara

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New Books!

When it comes to books, some are just too beautiful to only get a digital version of. Here are a few that I got for Christmas and am super excited about:

Alexa Chung: IT  |  The New York Times: 36 Hours  |  Nails, Nails, Nails!

I’m excited to dig into Alexa Chung’s world, discover new places to explore, and give myself some detailed manicures. What’s really awesome is that the manicure book is by a girl I went to school with: Madeline Poole! I love it!

- sara

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Merry Christmas!

My favorite Holiday movie is actually a show (or a tv special to be more specific). How the Grinch Stole Christmas from 1966! I can’t stop singing the grinch song, and make it sure I watch it every year around this time. Not to mention, the director Chuck Jones has a ton of beautiful work including Looney Tunes. The colors alone get me.

As you’re lounging around today with your family watch it! Even if you’ve already seen it 20 times. Merry Christmas!

- sara

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Explore: Sutro Baths

Living in California has taught me to explore. In five years of living here, I have seen more of this gigantic state than I ever saw of my tiny home state of Connecticut, or any other east coast state for that matter. There’s something about this place.

In 1896, Sutro Baths opened along Ocean Beach in San Francisco. It was a glamorous place, with seven indoor pools all ranging in temperature. I want that. Unfortunately it was too expensive to maintain, so it closed in the 60′s only to be followed by a fire in 1966. Even though I wish that the pools were still open for use, the ruins aren’t bad either. I mean really, check out these views…

Zara Beanie  |  J.Crew Sweatshirt  |  Zara Jeans  |  Loeffler Randall Boots  |  Karen Walker Sunglasses  |  Leather Jacket

If you live near San Francisco or come to visit, the Sutro Baths are a great place to stop. Even though I live in the city, I felt like I was on a vacation just walking around. Go explore!

- sara

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Photography Inspiration

Do you guys ever look at Trendland? It’s one of my favorite sites to browse around, especially for photography inspiration. I find myself pinning from them more than any other site! Here are a few of my favorite photographs I’ve come across lately:

I love the composition of this photograph by Sabrina Bongiovanni. I love the pink bag too… what is it with me and pink these days?! See more of her work here.

The psychology of color is so interesting to me (if you like it too, this Josef Albers book is great). This is a fun play on color by André Britz.

The lighting here is so pretty, and it’s such a clever way to photograph this jewelry. See more of David Abrahams‘ work here.

Another clever way to photograph jewelry by Karin Öström!

And finally, I’ve been crushing on this photo by Barbara Metz and Eve Racine for a while.

- sara

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Holiday Style

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean things can’t get colorful. As soon as I saw this Marc by Marc Jacobs top I knew it would be perfect with an emerald green skirt for a Christmas vibe.

I got these nail wraps in my most recent Must Have box. I love the stripes!

Marc by Marc Jacobs Top  |  Kate Spade Saturday Midi Skirt  |  Vintage Gucci Watch

Heath Ceramics Mug  |  Pamela Love Earrings  |  Loeffler Randall Boots

- sara

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The Road to Hana

If you’re going to Maui and like road trips, the Road to Hana is a must. We rented a Jeep Wrangler and were so glad we drove ourselves rather than booking a tour bus. There are so many stops along the way and you really want to be able to take your time with it!

We started out the day with some crepes at a place called Cafe Des Amis in Paia, a cute little hippie town. I put together the map below to point out some of our favorite stops! Click on each pinpoint below to read a little more about it.

Red Sand beach is a little tricky to get to, but completely worth it. Park at the dead end next to the community center and walk through the grass until you reach a sign that says ‘danger’. A tip we discovered is rather than trying to take the path the whole way to the beach, walk the pebbled beach as far as you can, then the last 1/4 of the path you can take – it makes the trek a little easier.

Here’s the start of our hike at Haleakalā National Park. It was a 2 mile hike, and one of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done. After hiking through a bamboo forest, you end at Waimoku Falls, an insanely tall and beautiful waterfall.

Here’s our amazing little yurt we stayed in at Halemano! We fell asleep to the waves crashing at night – it was the best! Here’s the airbnb listing.

After driving all day, the last thing you would want to do is drive back, so we were really glad we stayed just south of Hana for a few nights. Rather than drive back up the Hana highway, we continued driving the back way around the island – it is insanely beautiful as well, and I think I may have liked it even a little more than the Hana highway itself!

You can see more photos from the trip on my Instagram!

Have you ever driven the Road to Hana? What’d you think?

- sara

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Holiday Cocktail Recipes I Love

It never hurts to have a few cocktail recipes up your sleeve for parties, or even for the ‘I really need a cocktail’ moment. I decided to try out a few that remind me of the holiday season.

The first is called a Brandy Alexander and has a classic eggnoggy flavor (without actually using eggnog). It is the strongest of the three, so use a tasty brandy and it will be well appreciated.

This cranberry cocktail can be used in a punch bowl for a super laid back party where guests can refill themselves. Float some fresh rosemary in the punch bowl or glass for an automatic holiday look. It’s light and refreshing.

This final drink, the Grasshopper, I have to say is my favorite. If you like mint chocolate chip ice cream, that is exactly what it tastes like. (With the added benefit of having alcohol content of course.) You really can’t go wrong here. I’m going to be make this for dessert with cookies for my family on Christmas day.

If you try any of these out, let me know what you think!

- sara

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Sweaters on the Brain

In harsh contrast to Hawaiian temps in the 80′s, Rich & I returned to SF and low 40′s temps. (This is kind of hilarious though, because nobody can find their gloves). Anyways, it’s got me wishing I had more sweaters to choose from…

image source  |  Similar Pink Mohair Sweater  |  Forever21 |  Tibi (on sale!)  |  Rag & Bone  |  Isabel Marant (on sale!)

- sara

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Up in the Sky

Some of my friends tell me that if were an animal, I’d be a bird. I think they might be right. Of all of the amazing things we saw during our trip to Hawaii, our helicopter ride was my favorite. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me!

- sara

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