Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Things To Do In San Francisco: More of Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park has a lot of open space (it is bigger than Central Park).  Aside from the major features, such as the museums, there are a lot of minor attractions to visit as well.  There seem to be monuments at every corner, nestled next to gardens, sports fields, and lakes.  In fact, every time I visit, I take so many pictures that I need to divide them into several posts.  I had previously showed you a few landmarks  around the park, and this time I am back to show you a few more. 

A view of the California Academy of Sciences  across the Music Concourse, with Sutro Tower (the large antenna) in the background.

Concrete sphinxes in front of the de Young Museum, created in 1910.

This bronze vase was designed by Paul Gustave Dore in 1878.  Originally created for French winemakers at the 1878 Paris World's Fair.   In the detail, figures from the ancient classical rite of Bacchus (the Roman god of wine) protect the vines and ensure the quality of the grapes. This was eventually purchased by M.H. deYoung in 1894.

I am not exactly sure what these lovely flowers are, but I wish I had them in my garden.  Does anyone know?

The Junipero Serra Monument was installed in 1907.  He was a Franciscan monk who founded missions in California in the 1700's.

 DonQuixote and Sancho Panza kneeling before a bust of Cervantes, created 1916. 

Thomas Starr King statue from 1892.  He was influential in California politics during the American Civil War.  

Monument to poet Robert Burns, dedicated in 1908, complete with random accordion musician.  

William McKinnon statue, dating to 1927.   He was chaplain of the California regiment that served during the Spanish-American War in the Philippines.
Statue of Italian composer, Verdi
Australian tree ferns in the Fern Dell

The Conservatory of Flowers.  I haven't visited yet, but it is on my list.

Hopefully, once I visit I can explain this.

The Food Truck revolution, represent!
Spreckels Temple of Music, in the Music Concourse (also pictured here).  
View of the Music Concourse, from the Spreckles Temple of Music stage.

 I still have so many things that I want to see in the park.  I hope that one day I can get to all of them.  The temperamental weather just needs to cooperate with me:)

If you come to the San Francisco area, you can walk (or drive, but walking would be the preferred method) around the park and see all of this for free.   Have you been to the park?  What was your favorite thing?  Anything that you would call a "must see"?  If you have not yet visited, what would you like to see most?

Monday, July 30, 2012

My So-Called Instagram Life

I love collecting Starbucks mugs.  Anyone else a fan too?

It was approximately 100 degrees outside, and they insisted on sharing the same bed.

Fiestaware plates that we got for our wedding.  I love how they look in our cabinet.

Sweet, sleepy Harriet.

She is just so calm (and pretty).

Almost every picture captures Petunia's tongue.

Three lazy dogs all in a row. 
A really cool time and weather atomic clock I found at Costco.  I find myself checking it all of the time;

My new favorite snack from Trader Joe's, Crunchy Green Beans.

Driving over the Bay Bridge.

I found this iPhone case for $40 at Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale.  I then found it on amazon for $15.50 (and had to have it).

Mt. Diablo from the freeway.

My favorite print from Curly Girl Designs.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blog Giveaway: 200 Followers (Or Something Close To That)!

I love my readers!  I am so grateful and humbled that you stop by regularly to see what is going on in my world.  As a thank you, I wanted to host a little summer giveaway.  I was given the book "Style A To Zoe" by a dear friend and thought it was a really fun read.  I bought a copy for one lucky reader along with a few other goodies pictured above.  We'll call them some of my summer favorites.  I may even throw in a few extras.  I get carried away like that sometimes.  I am looking forward to your entries (and to your advice)!  The more you unlock, the greater your chance of winning.

The rest of the information:
I will keep this giveaway open for one week.  Drawing will close at 12AM EST on Friday August 3rd.  This is not a sponsored post.  I purchased these items with my own money because I enjoyed them and thought you would too.  Winner will be selected randomly by Rafflecopter.

Is this giveaway open internationally?  Yes, it is. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
May the odds be ever in your favor.

Apple Fritters

My husband and I are both doughnut fans.  I like the yeast variety.  Husband prefers cake.  What we both agree on are apple fritters.  We recently spent some time with a friend who doesn't eat anything chocolate (yeah, weird right?) and I wanted to bring something delicious.  This was an easy decision.  Who doesn't love apple desserts?  

We found this recipe on The Picky Apple.  It was the blog owners creation, and I just recreated it (and didn't change a thing, aside from adding more apple).  

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped apple ( we used more, but we like ours to be really apple-y)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
Directions:   Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon.  Stir in milk and egg until just combined.  Fold in apple.  Pour oil into skillet so that it is approximately 1 1/2 deep.  Heat oil on high.  Oil is ready when dough floats to top.  Carefully add dough to oil in heaping teaspoons.  Cook until brown, about 2 minutes, then flip.  Cook another 1-2 minutes, until both sides are browned.  Transfer briefly to paper towels to absorb excess oil, then transfer to cooling rack.  Make glaze by stirring milk and powdered sugar together in a small bowl.  Drizzle over apple fritters.  Wait approximately 3 minutes for glaze to harden, then flip fritters and drizzle glaze over the other side.  Best served warm.

I would love to hear from you if you make this.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our Hiking Hobby

Back in March, husband and I joined a gym.  This gym was supposed to open on April 15th.  Today, the gym is still not open, but we (in our infinite wisdom) signed a contract.  Lesson here, don't EVER join a gym that has yet to open.  Getting out of the contract is expensive.  If I can save one of you from this (crappy) experience today, I feel like this post served a purpose.

Luckily, living in California there are a lot of open spaces set aside for people who adore being outdoors with nature.  The exercise that comes along with it is a bonus.  We live near some magnificent hiking spaces and decided to do a little exploring while the temperature was cool in the evenings.

Mountain lions are real....and they are on the trail. 

The first part of each hike is ALL uphill.  My calves die several times a minute.

Hiking above a local housing development.
Husband looking out over a ridge.

It doesn't rain in Northern California during the summer.  Everything turns brown.

I believe this is some kind of old water tower.  

You can see how strong the wind is on this side of the mountain by the way the grass sways.
Looking out over a local road.  Everything looks so tiny. 

I look a little crazy, but this was my self-portrait attempt. Leaving the water tower.

I can see for miles and mile and miles.
A lonely tree.

All is well with the world.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Birchbox Vs. MyGalm (July 12)

If you have been reading my Birchbox vs. MyGlam reviews for a while, you might note that two months ago I was ready to get rid of both of these services.  I was receiving entire shipments of products I would give away to my friends.  Last month was a redemption for both of these companies, and this month was even better for me.  This is what I received and my thoughts on each item.

Inside my Birchbox

Color Club Nail Polish in Blue-Ming: Simply put, I loved this color, but I hated how it wore and how it went on.  I found it difficult to smoothly apply two coats, and then the polish started chipping almost immediately.  I gave this away to a friend who also loved this color and wanted to give it a try.  I had not ever tried this brand before, and I don't know if my experience was typical.  This was a big disappointment.

Gloss Moderne High Gloss Masque:  I had never tried a hair masque before, and I have to say I loved this product.  My hair felt silky smooth and was very shiny afterwards.  I am going to purchase this.

Harvey Prince Eau Flirt in Lavender Pumpkin:  This description says the scent is fresh citrus and jasmine notes over a base of lavender and pumpkin.  To me, it smelled heavily perfum-y.  Definitely not for me.

Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion:  A very pretty, soft shimmer.  It applies easily, and a little goes a long way.  I love the subtle glow it gave to me.

suki Balancing Kit:  I have mild rosacea, so I do consider my skin to be on the sensitive side.  This was a 5 part kit that included a face wash, which was more of an exfoliator.  It was supposed to foam when I added water to it, but instead it just felt very abrasive.  I used the included toner and moisturizer afterwards which were ok, but nothing amazing.  There is also a cleansing clay masque that was nice, but didn't impress me enough to buy it.  The final product was a moisturizing oil, which felt heavy on my skin, but I think I might have used too much.  I wasn't a huge fan of the smell of these products, but did  like that they seemed to use natural ingredients and my skin didn't seem to redden with use (which means it didn't inflame the rosacea).

Larabar Uber:  This was delicious, packed with roasted nuts in a roll form.  I am going to be looking for these at the grocery store.  

Birchbox Exclusive Earbuds:  I loved the color and can always use an extra pair.  A nice touch, Birchbox!

In my MyGlam Bag

Hot Pink Striped Mesh Makeup Bag:  This is my favorite bag to date.  

Juice Beauty SPF 15 Moisturizer:  I loved the smell of this, but the application was weird.  I couldn't seem to get it to absorb into my skin, and it looked like I was wearing a white mask.  

NuMe HydroPunch Hydrating Conditioner:  Nothing really noteworthy here for me.  It was a fine conditioner, but nothing special enough to make me want to run out and buy it.         

Yes to Cucumbers On The Go Facial Towelettes:  I loved the smell of these and how soothing they felt on my skin.  I would absolutely purchase this in the store.  These will be great to keep in my gym bag.

Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain in Jitterbug:  Once again, I wish these companies would give us samples in more neutral colors.  Jitterbug is a hot pink, and just a little too bright for daily wear.  I did find it easy to apply and long wearing when I tried it at home, though.

Circus By Andrea's Choice Nail Color in Sommersault:  I had to apply three coats to get a good lacquer on everything.  I love the color, but again found it a little too much for work (I still kept it on all week anyway).  This may be on my toes in the near future, where it is a little less "in your face".

What do you think?  Anything here you are interested in trying?  Have you singed up for either service yet?  

One more thing, I added links to the individual products this time so you can take a look at them for yourself.  To get them, I had to log into my accounts and link from there.  I tried looking at the links when I wasn't logged in, and they looked fine, but can you please confirm that they are working?  Thanks!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale: What I Need....Now!

Every July, I anxiously wait for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog to arrive in my mailbox. This year was not a disappointment.  These are the things that are on the top of my list for fall:

1)  Not that long ago, I came to the realization that it is much more fun to work out when you have cute clothing to do it in. This includes my obsession with the idea of brightly colored running shoes.
2)  I am also into boots.  I really want a pair of motorcycle booties for the fall (but am obsessed with the Vera Wang pair as well). 
3)  I need cozy pajamas and robes for the colder months.  I hate cold weather, but much like working out, find it some much easier to embrace when I have cute things to wear.
4)  I am checking out fun new bags.  I really want the Michale Kors pictured in white below, but in purple (which is currently sold out).

Obviously, I will need to whittle this list down a bit before I buy the entire store.  I need to stop by and check these items out in person.  Which are your favorite pieces?  Are you shopping the sale, and what is on your list?

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Wishlist

Pink Lotus knit top

Frenchi sparkly top

Kenneth Cole skirt


Zella gray pants

Natori sleepwear

Report boots

Seychelles vintage boots

NIKE pink shoes

Joan & David black shoes

Vera Wang knee boots

NIKE arch support shoes

Cole Haan tote handbag

Kate spade bangle

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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