Netflix Reviews

Recently I’ve been into watching Netflix documentaries on the fashion industry. I love that Netflix allows you to rate a movie that you have seen, and then gives you similar movies to watch.

A few that had popped onto my radar, that I ended up watching over the last few weeks were the following: The September Issue, The First Monday in May, Dior and I, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Image from IMDB

Image from IMDB

 

The September Issue

I ended up liking this movie a lot more than I thought I would. It really gives you a great “behind the scenes” feeling to Vogue, and I learned a lot about the process and timeline of making a magazine issue. I really enjoyed seeing the different dynamics between the different editors and Anna Wintour. I also loved seeing Anna interact with her daughter, who is most decidedly not going to follow in her famed footsteps.

 

Image from IMDB

Image from IMDB

The First Monday in May

I really enjoyed the cinematography of this movie. It follows Andrew Bolton who is the Costumes Institute Curator at the Met prepare the 2015 China Through the Looking Glass exhibit for the Met Gala. They did a beautiful job showcasing the amazing art in the collection, and the detailed and delicate process of curating such a large exhibit. It is a star studded event, so it was fun to see the drama of the seating chart dilemmas. I’ve always been a big fan of watching this event on television, so I liked seeing how intricate and how early they start developing a theme and plan for the Met Gala.

Image from IMDB

Image from IMDB

Dior and I

Dior and I followed the Christian Dior Fashion House as fashion designer Raf Simons prepares his first haute couture collection. This movie had none of the glitz and glamour of the first two movies, instead it showcases the labor of love the seamstresses and designers really have for the craft. My favorite part was seeing all the exterior shots of the different French buildings.

Image from IMDB

Image from IMDB

Yves Saint Laurent

I was really expecting to like this movie. Netflix had given me three hits, so why wouldn’t this movie be more of the same? Sadly, I didn’t really enjoy this movie. I struggled through watching it. The main character Yves seemed immature and odd. The only character I felt like was well developed was his business partner and lover played by Guillaume Gallienne. The famous designers demons are in full force in this movie, and I felt it really detracted from the great art of his work: designing his couture line. Sometimes movies with subtitles are harder to follow sometimes, and perhaps that added difficulty to understanding the scenes. The scenes where they filmed in France (The InterContintental and Avenue Marceau ) were gorgeous.  I would say if you have a bunch of free time, and don’t mind his vices of drugs, drink and sex, then go for it. Otherwise, skip this one. The first three movies were much better. Sorry Netflix, this movie was a total miss for me.

Have you watched any documentaries lately? Any that you would recommend?

Love,

-S

101 in 1001

 

Happy New Year

Hello Friends,

I know resolutions are a split topic, people either plan them and love them, or scoff at them knowing they are often forgotten once February rolls around. My resolution the last few years have been less focused on negative actions, and more on a positive plan. My 2016 resolution was to be more healthy, and I think I achieved that. I see a personal trainer a few times a week, have a dance class I attend on Mondays, and meal prep on Sunday for the work week. I certainly feel stronger, which is a nice feeling. I instead prefer to think longer term, which is why I created a list of 101 things I would like to accomplish in 1001 days. If you were reading my blog a few years back, I started it around New Years time.

My 101 list ended in late September, and due to the new job and my move to Santa Clara, it fell off my radar. I am pleased to say that I completed a good many things on the list.

I was able to complete 68 of the items on my list, which is more than I honestly expected to cross off. I’ve been brainstorming the next one, and I’ll keep you posted once I finalize it.

But for now, let’s talk about the highlights of the ones I completed.

Image From Daily Fancies & Pinterest

Image From Daily Fancies & Pinterest

13. See a Taylor Swift Concert. It was such a fun evening. The girl knows how to put on a show.

22. Visit Harry Potter World in Florida. A and I flew in January to Florida and I had such a blast. A and I have plans to visit the L.A version in January and I can’t wait.

48. Photo Shoot for the whole Family. I bribed one of my coworkers from my old school to photograph us. This was my favorite picture out of all of them.

60. See another Frank Lloyd Wright Building. My dad and I toured the Marin Civic Center over my summer holiday.

 

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What is it? Have you heard of a 101 in 1001 Days List? Would you like to make one?

Love,

-S

 

The Best of 2016

Hello Friends,

Happy New Years! We spent the evening at our neighborhood party, and then relaxed at our house playing boardgames. It’s very homey with the fire roaring and we drink tons of thai iced tea to last us til midnight. It’s always very festive and fun. How was your New Year’s Eve? Do anything fun?

best-of-2016

Looking back on 2016, it was a very full and exciting year, with many highs and quite a few lows.

From left to right, I had amazing time with A flying to Florida and having the time of my life at Harry Potter World in January.

Relaxing on the beach in Hawaii with A in February was exactly what I needed heading into a busy time prepping my students to submit their AP portfolios. In June I watched my prides and joy (all 45 of them) walk down the aisle and receive their diplomas. I also said goodbye to the school that made me into the teacher that I am today, and hugged & waved goodbye to all my LPS Phoenix’s (and my classroom) for the last time ever.

In July we took a family trip and fulfilled a childhood dream of mine to return to the island where I had spent a glorious summer (#sweet15) in Nantucket. In July we spent some time with my Grandfather in Pennsylvania.

In August, I lounged at an amazing lake house and soaked up every last bit of summer before starting school at my new job. In September we enjoyed glorious weather on many walks in San Francisco. In October A and I cajoled our friends into eating the brunch buffet at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay. I also saw my favorite musician Ingrid Michaelson on her latest musical tour.

In November A and I took a food eating tour through Portland, and I got to explore the beauty of the Northwest (and see Shannon!). For Thanksgiving Week I joined Aaron and Kim and her family on a week-long sunny stay in Cancun, Mexico.

And finally, I’ve been here in Tahoe for the last week and a half, being as lazy as I possibly can before starting back to work on the 3rd. The snow has been kind to us, and I’ve been able to get in 3!! days of skiing in between the hot tub, reading books, watching movies and boardgames.

I’m sure 2017 will keep me just as busy as 2016 did, as I know I already have a few trips planned with A, seeing my first crop of seniors at Notre Dame graduate in May, and adding a few new things to the new pad in Santa Clara (like finally owning a Tv.)

Are you looking forward to 2017? Any fun things you are looking forward to? Thanks so much for reading the blog these last 12 months, I couldn’t do it without you guys!

Love,

-S

 

 

 

A weekend in Portland Video

Hello Friends,

In late November my friend Annie and I explored the glorious city of Portland. I have driven through it on my way to Seattle, but hadn’t really spent much time. I fell in the love with the fall colors, glorious food, rainy weather and beautiful gardens. Here is a short video about our trip to Portland Oregon.

Have you ever been to Portland? Found any places that I should add to my list for when I return?

Love,

-S

Thanksgiving in Mexico: Part 1

Hello Friends!

Sometime early last year my friend Kim asked if I wanted to spend my November break with her mom and her family in Mexico. I love relaxing at the beach in the sun, so it was very easy for me to say yes. Fast forward to November and I am on a flight bound for Cancun. They picked me up from the airport and off we went to our condos. They had gotten two back to back and it was such a beautiful location with our own rooftop pools.

Cancun Trip Cancun Trip Cancun Trip

Kim’s extended family was there, along with her boyfriend Aaron. Our weather was often cloudy in the morning, and would warm up by lunchtime. The sun would stay out until late into the afternoon.

Cancun Trip Cancun Trip

Our view was amazing. Up top it was crisp and clear and we could see for a long way. More to come tomorrow!

Love,

-S

On my Radar December

 

Hello Friends!

I’m sure you’ve been busy just as I have with the holidays and spending time with your friends and family. Here are a few fun things to peek at in between dinners and presents!

 

1. Jimmy Fallon & Nicole Kidman….Almost:

So Funny. You must watch it. Such a missed chance on his part!

 

2. Harry Potter: 4 Privet Drive is up for Sale.

I know they had filmed the first one there at that location, and then weren’t able to get rights after that, so they made a set of it eventually. How cool! Would you want to live there?

3. 2 Year-old Shopping:

This cute toddler and his dad go shopping at Whole Foods and he gets to steer and select for his own tiny little cart. Kids are so funny.

4. The Lumineers: Sleep on the Floor.

This music video is pretty amazing. I love the filmography of it. Apparently the three songs they released recently are a triptych of some sorts. I was reading about it on their facebook page here.

 

 

5. HRC In the Wild: Apparently a twitter solely devoted to finding Hilary….living her life. I particularly love this neighbor selfie picture.

Hope your Holidays have been merry and relaxing!

Love,

-S

Snickerdoodle Biscotti

Recently I made a batch of biscotti to give out as holiday gifts. I’m a big fan of the gingersnap biscotti, but recently the snickerdoodle has been everyone’s favorite. So, I thought I would share the recipe.

Ingredients: Dough

2 Cups All purpose Flour (sift before using)

1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)

1 egg (at room temperature)

1 egg yolk (at room temperature)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Topping Mixture

1 large egg white

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. If you are using convection bake, drop by 25 degrees.
  2. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside for later use.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the following: flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside for later use.
  4. Using a stand mixture or an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until well blended.  Use a medium speed for a few minutes to mix until light and fluffy.
  5. Add egg and egg yolk (reserve egg white for later use) to butter and sugar mixture, and beat well.
  6. Mix in vanilla extract to butter and sugar mixture.
  7. Take butter and sugar mixture, and fold into dry ingredients. Stir well, and dough may appear crumbly.
  8. Flour a clean work area and put dough on the surface.
  9. Shape dough into two logs roughly 8 inches long by 2 inches in diameter.
  10. Brush logs with egg whites
  11. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes or until dough is firm to touch.
  12. Remove logs from oven and cool completely. Maintain oven temperature for a second round of baking.
  13. After cool, slice logs at a diagonal.
  14. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon topping.
  15. Brush one side of the biscotti with egg whites, and then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon topping upon it.
  16. Return biscotti to oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cook completely. Biscotti will crisp up during second baking, as well as with with cooling. I prefer a slightly softer biscotti, so I often pull them out at 10 minutes, but if you want crisper biscotti give them the full 12 minutes.
  17. Enjoy the biscotti!

 

I made a big batch of both kinds of biscotti, and gave them to neighbors, family friends and coworkers! They all loved the snickerdoodle biscotti far more than the gingersnap, but I love them both.

*My aunt and I baked a lot together when I was in high school. This recipe is a mixture of two base recipes: a snickerdoodle cookie recipe from Kicked Up Cookies and a gingersnap biscotti recipe from the Family Baker . Over the last ten years she and I have tweaked the ingredients and steps to make the recipe above. Snickerdoodles are a very popular cookie, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there are similar recipes out there on the internet.

Enjoy!

-S

Life Lately

Hello friends,

Life has been extremely busy lately, thus the radio silence on the blog here. So many holiday events, get togethers with friends, observations at work, prepping for Christmas and time in Tahoe.

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Our neighbors got a wood-fired mini pizza oven, and we made our first batch a few weeks ago. They were amazing!!

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I went to a pearl tea place with a friend and these were their signs outside. I loved it!

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This was a cute birthday card given to a co-worker at ND, and i thought it was supercute. #ilovealpacas

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My brother and I baked apple donuts for the first time and they were deliiiish. I liked the donut holes the best!img_7553

To go with the apple donuts we made chili and I made the cornbread. Yum.

Also, we bought a Christmas tree….and then I got one for my house, and then one for my brother’s house. That’s how we ended up with 3 trees!

My tree all decorated. It only leans a little as it was hard to tell if it was straight in the tree holder as I live by myself.

I made biscotti as a holiday gift for friends, family and co-workers. I make both snickerdoodle and gingersnap! So tasty, I ate so many during the first batch there weren’t many to share.

Kim’s family had me over for their thanksgiving holiday party this past Sunday at their new house in San Carlos. I had so much fun, we did a while elephant exchange.

That’s it, life has been good and busy, but I promise I get back to posting more often!!

Love,

-S