Thursday, March 26, 2015

left my heart in san francisco {an ode to california + taylor stitch}

First outfit: Dress: Eva dress available for preorder from Taylor Stitch; Jean jacket: Old Navy; Boots: Isabel Marant; Sunglasses: Ray-Ban; Bag: Asos (love this style here); Watch: Daniel Wellington; Necklace: Jennifer Zeuner
Second outfit: Camel coat: Zara (old, similar style here); Boots: Celine; Bag: Proenza Schouler; Necklace: Jennifer Zeuner; Lips: Marc Jacobs "Oh Miley"

When I made my big NYC move announcement a few weeks back, I realized I never really clarified what exactly I'd be doing for work out there. I'm beyond happy to report I'll be staying at Google, working on my same team (marketing for Google Express), but simply transferring offices, from Mountain View to our Chelsea Market location. My new apartment (in the West Village!) is about a 10 minute walk from the office, meaning I'll be getting back about 4 hours of my day, which I currently spend commuting between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. To say I'm ecstatic about this shift in work/life balance, would be an understatement and I'm looking forward to putting that new found time to work -- both here on the blog and, oh I dunno, working out a bit more often. ;)

But it should be said, most of my team is still based on the West Coast, meaning I'll be back pretty often (read: about once a month) for work off sites and brainstorm sessions. While it may sound a bit exhausting, I'm actually really excited to try out this whole bicoastal thing -- especially when it comes down to visiting friends and a certain special guy out here in San Francisco. It also means, I don't have to say goodbye to California, just yet. And trust me -- I don't want to say goodbye to her! There's so much she and I have left to do together. Yosemite! Joshua Tree! Big Sur! And so many more road trips up and down Highway 1! 

It's with that in mind that I've been playing around with the idea of creating an ongoing series here on the blog about my visits over the coming months -- a diary of sorts about our reunions -- an ode to the wild child, free-spirited, fiercely untamed nature that is California. 

Enter Taylor Stitch (another reason I will definitely miss the West Coast). If there's a brand that truly embodies the California spirit, it's these guys. I was first introduced to the brand a few years back when my good friend, Kim, a designer at Banana Republic, mentioned a pop-up collaboration they were doing with these three dudes, all East Coast transplants, who were onto something, making high quality, classic, yet rugged staples that are meant to be lived in. Fast forward a few years, and they've got quite the cult following here in San Francisco, with one shop on Valencia, and another on Chestnut -- and a lot of loyal California men (and women) sporting their staples all over the city. 

Personally, I love how each of their pieces carries a certain sensibility to it -- you can tell it was intentionally made with it's wearer in mind. Comfortable and yet tailored -- I can easily wear their pieces from morning walks with Elvis, to drinks in the evening, which let's face it, that's what we're all about in California. 

So you can imagine my delight when they reached out to do a little shoot together around their Eva dress (which I'm wearing above, available for pre-order here). We roamed around my neighborhood, including Alta Plaza Park (a frequent stomping ground for Elvis and I) and up and down Fillmore Street (my favorite block for window shopping). I love how these pictures capture exactly how I'll remember my San Francisco afternoons -- carefree and meant for exploring. And I have a feeling, for future California adventures, I'll be reaching for more of their staples. 

Thanks Taylor Stitch for a great afternoon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

left my heart in san francisco {favorite coffee shops}

Dress: Eva dress from Taylor Stitch; Coat: Zara (old, similar style here); Boots: Celine; Bag: Proenza Schouler; Necklace: Jennifer Zeuner (now on sale!)
Snapped at Jane on Fillmore // Stay tuned for the full outfit post tomorrow!

As I mentioned last week, San Franciscans are pretty serious about coffee. To the point, I may or may not have seen roast preferences listed quite often as a profile snippet on several dating apps (ahem, guilty former Tinder user now hangs her head in partial shame). 

And rightfully so! We have some great local roasts right here in the Bay Area, and an even better lineup of coffee shops to serve them at. While I don't have much time during the week to set up shop in some of my favorite cafe haunts, I do love spending Sunday afternoons catching up on email, editing photos and generally gearing up for the week over a cappuccino. It's a weekly ritual that adds the right punctuation to the start of the week for me. 

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorites around San Francisco.

Jane: Perhaps my most frequently visited cafe, Jane is not only killing it in their brew department (hello, Stumpton coffee) but their cafe decor is responsible for far too many Instagram moments. Oh, and the cookies. Don't get me started on their "Accident Cookie." It's also where Mike snapped this photo of Elvis and me the other day -- stay tuned for the full outfit post tomorrow!

The Mill: This is another great spot known for their decor: airy with minimalistic, natural touches. But what I love the most about The Mill is the fact they don't have outlet plugs or wifi, which in San Francisco, is practically blasphemy, but in some instances, it's nice to be reminded to unplug and actually, I dunno, talk to that cute guy in line. 

Saint Frank: But let's be real. We all need to get a little work done (even that cute guy in line), especially with a sharp jolt of caffeine pumping through us. Saint Frank was actually recently named one of the 21 best new coffee shops in America, and I have to say, while it sounds a little pretentious, I full-heartedly agree. Lots of open seating space with skylights above, great for work sessions and people watching, with plenty of Ritual roast on tap.

Ritual Coffee Roasters: Speaking of Ritual Coffee, I'd be amiss if I left this guy off the list, mainly because it was such a mainstay in my life when I lived in Hayes Valley. If you live in San Francisco, you're no stranger to pop-up container shops. The beautiful thing about Ritual Coffee Roasters' container shop (aside from their delicious roasts, of course)? The fact that they share a container with Smitten Ice Cream. The possibilities there -- endless.

Blue Bottle: Blue Bottle admittedly has multiple locations scattered throughout the city, but their spot tucked away in Potrero Hill is probably the best kept secret. There's hardly ever a line and you can pop over to Heath Ceramics afterward for some retail therapy. 

Dynamo Donut & Coffee: UM, obviously. 

Philz: Another no brainer -- mint mojito iced coffee, anyone?

Four Barrel: Another spot that doesn't have outlet plugs or wifi, Four Barrel's spot on Valencia can get a little packed at times, but it's worth the wait. Plus, they offer some pretty awesome in-house brewing workshops and classes (check out their lineup here).

Sightglass: They have a one-size cup fits all policy, but trust me, it packs some serious PUNCH.

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