HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST

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get my first Christmas tree in San Francsico!

take a cooking class at Sur La Table

host a holiday gathering

make a sensible gift list for people

holiday tea time

give back and/or volunteer

watch holiday movies

go on more walks around the neighborhood in the late afternoon to enjoy Christmas lights

make Christmas cards

bake something festive and bring it to a host!

indulge a peppermint (or white peppermint) mocha at Starbucks

get a cocktail at a rooftop bar downtown

SMALL BITS OF HOME

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Moving to San Francisco was not a major adjustment for me, since I was raised there until age five, and frequently spent time there after moving to the Peninsula San Mateo area. Danny and I decided to make the move with an amazing opportunity of the space, and also for his job. Although, we upgraded and could not ask for a more prime location so close to Crissy Field, I think my heart will always belong in the Peninsula. With that said, I wanted to create a space that I could feel completely at home, relaxed, and productive in. Since most days I work from home doing graphic design, and am also quite a homebody, I find peace in being at home.  I think people take being at home for granted. In our stressful day to day routines, it is so important to have that consistent space to feel a home; even if you are living at your parents and your own space is a bedroom, or in transition mode soon to be moving, or if you are currently rooted in your own home. Feeling grounded is so important.

We really transformed the space and filled it with things old, found, and new! I am so grateful for Danny’s logical perspective in the design process as well as an appreciation for fun pieces like I have. I think the new sofa is his favorite new piece, being that we cannot get through a movie without him falling asleep in it… it’s really that comfortable.

Organization is also key for creating a grounded space. One reason moving kind of stresses me out is all of the lingering boxes with things and unfinished items on the to-do list. Little by little we’ve almost completely finished putting everything in its place, but there are still some things that need to be sorted. I am also on the hunt for art, which is fun to look for.  I need a large piece in the dining room and one large piece for behind our living room sofa. I’m also looking for some art for the bedroom.  

One of my favorite pieces that is like an art piece itself, is our dining room chandelier, designed by a local San Francisco artist Jonathan Browning for RH Modern. A sentimental piece to me is the wine rack in our dining room that my uncle just gifted to me when he and his family recently moved. It used to belong to my grandparents and was used as an old ribbon holder, but you can also lay wine bottles in it (we are testing it with only a couple bottles to make sure it can hold the weight ;) until we add them all).                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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Another space I love is the bedroom because it always calms me down. My go-to option for sheets is white Belgian linen for a relaxed, beachy vibe. I find so much richness in linen.

The office is also a unique space. The wall texture is so neat. I had our painter put thin layers of Ardex concrete on the walls and it turned out wonderful. I still have some unfinished items in this room, but it's coming along nicely. The guestroom is where Danny’s closet is, so I wanted to put some of his favorite things in there, like his baseball art, favorite colognes, and other nickknacks. His dresser used to be in my dad’s old dressing room. It’s an older piece constructed of 100% pure cherry wood and was made in Kentucky.

Overall everything kind of tells a story. I love mixing and matching old with new, and I like when pieces remind me of something or someone. Hope this post inspired you to renew, organize, and adorn that special place you call home!   

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Some recourses I love for a variety of items are Jenni Kayne, Restoration Hardware, CB2, Pottery Barn, Joss and Main, West Main Home, Hudson Grace, Chateau SonomaOverstock, Home Goods, Serena & Lily, as well as antique and flea markets galore!

HERBAL DIY BODY OIL

When I was younger, I always used to love making homemade perfume out of the flowers and herbs in my garden. It was always fun to break up rose petals or lavender and such and make an array of scents. So when I came across this DIY body oil on Jenni Kayne’s blog from herbalist Ashley Moore of Women’s Heritage, I got inspired to make something similar again. Simply mix sweet almond oil with your favorite organic floras—perhaps even from your own garden or backyard. After letting the mixture infuse for four weeks, you’ll be left with a gorgeous-smelling oil you can use all over the body. It’s also a great gift idea!

Ingredients

  • 1 glass jar with lid
  • 2/3 cup dried herbs (or 1 cup fresh herbs)
  • 2 cups sweet almond oil

Instructions

Fill a glass jar 1/3 full with your choice of dried flowers/herbs from the list above. Pour sweet almond oil over the herbs and up to 1 inch from the top of the jar. Put on the top and set in a sunny window for four weeks, giving a gentle shake once a day. After four weeks, strain out the solids, saving the oil. If your oil is not fragrant enough, you can repeat the process using your infused oil. This is called a double infusion. Still craving a stronger scent? Add 6 drops of essential oil—try rose, jasmine, neroli, chamomile or lavender—per 1 oz of infused oil. Store your oil in a glass container of your choice, or glass bottle with a pump top.

To use: apply all over legs, arms and torso just after showering. Allow your oil to soak in before getting dressed. Enjoy the natural bliss of your homemade body oil!