Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Easy Holiday Entertaining with J. Bucher

Allergic to Vanilla- San Francisco lifestyle blog, how to entertain for the holiday, J. Bucher wines
Allergic to Vanilla- San Francisco lifestyle blog, how to entertain for the holiday, J. Bucher wines
Allergic to Vanilla- San Francisco lifestyle blog, how to entertain for the holiday, J. Bucher wines
Allergic to Vanilla- San Francisco lifestyle blog, how to entertain for the holiday, J. Bucher wines
Allergic to Vanilla- San Francisco lifestyle blog, how to entertain for the holiday, J. Bucher wines

Well, well, well look who blinked and missed all of November and jumped right into the following month all too suddenly? Anyone else not sure where the time went? This time of year is my absolute favorite even if it does go by way too fast, and I plan on savoring every last (very quick) minute of December. 

Even if I can't drink I'm not letting that stop me from throwing a good soireé. If you know me, you know I love to host a party. I've hosted a Friendsgiving or a Holiday party for as long as I can remember — it's my favorite thing to do, to get friends, old and new together, eat, drink, be merry, and maybe throw in a 90's jam session on the rooftop deck in faux fur coats (that's a story for another time). 

Generally, a lot of thought goes into the whole hosting experience, it can be overwhelming and stressful but today I'm sharing my four tips on how to easily host a fabulous party. It's the stuff I've learned over the ten years of throwing get-togethers around this time of year, my no-fail-works-everytime hosting tricks. 

One: Get fresh florals. Flowers are beautiful and set the mood, they scream festive and liven up the place. But I don't get just any florals, I like to go for something that will last me a few weeks, something like eucalyptus leaves, holly berries or Douglas tree trimmings-- that way not only does the place dress up it, but it actually smells like Christmas. That piney scent really does wonders for the room's ambiance.

Two: Get good local wine. Living in San Francisco there is no shortage of great wineries nearby. Every year I try to have a mini supply on hand of local wines I love and want to support, in recent years I've been in the habit of buying and opening a magnum of something really delicious. I ask all the invited guests to bring a bottle of their favorite as well, that way the wine never needs to stop flowing. This year J. Bucher's Russian River Pinot Noir made it on my list. It's light, fruity, and slightly sweet, it also pairs perfectly with decadent nibbles like truffled Marcona almonds and rosemary garlic cheddar. 

Three: Use real glassware, I love the idea of stemware, but not everyone has 20 wine glasses stored somewhere, especially in San Francisco. I usually pull together stemless cups, small glasses, champagne coups, wine glasses, and even fun colored glass, like the blue ones in the pictures above. All the glassware collectively pulled together really makes for a thoughtful elegant spread, and the click-clinking makes for one hell of a party. Plus not sure about you, but wine tastes so much better out of real glass as opposed to plastic. 

Four: Asking your guests to contribute and bring something whether a bottle of wine or an appetizer allows you to focus on prepping your home and less time in the kitchen or market picking out beverages. For my first ever Friendsgiving I slaved all day in the kitchen making a turkey and all the sides, I didn't get to finish until guests were already in my apartment and even then was cooking and fussing with the food. Having them bring a little something alleviates whats on your hosting plate and allows you to be more in the moment with your guests. 

Thanks to J. Bucher for sponsoring this post and sending some wine!

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

oversized denim and moody vibes

leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties
leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties
leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties
leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties
leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties
leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties
leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties
leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties
leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties
leopard dress, oversized denim, winter style, chic street style, San Francisco style, Rachel Roy leopard dress, gold booties



Today's pairing was an easy one to pull together. Oversized denim and a floaty leopard dress with perfect extras like this fisherman cap, gold stiletto booties, and a deep burgundy pout make this one of my favorite Fall outfits to date. There is something so festive yet everyday pulled-together-chic about it. I would even style this look sans gold booties and throw on some white sneakers for a low-key city stroll. How would you style it?


Photography by Jessica Monroy

Friday, November 16, 2018

Cooking with Carlina // Baking at the CIA at Copia


I'm going to start this post by saying I look awful in an apron and that's why I generally don't wear one when I cook at home, aside from poor fashion choices in this post let's chat about what I'm doing. BAKING! If you watch my IG stories (and honestly I watch more stories than I consume IG posts nowadays, so I'd be surprised if you didn't catch them!) I'm a closet chef and baker, or at least I'd like to think I am. I do however very much like spending time in the kitchen, whipping up a healthy meal or an indulgent pumpkin cheesecake, just because it's Tuesday. 

So, when the CIA at Copia invited me to Napa for a day to take a baking course I jumped at the chance. I was not sure how to choose between a pasta making course or a pastry one, and after inhaling the last season of The Great British Bakeoff, I was convived the baking class was the right move. Plus, I could channel my inner Paul and critique all my fellow bakers' work. 

It was a group class, with about 7 other couples, a mix of young adults, mom, and dads, and every pair had an assigned recipe to create, in the end, we would all share the fruits of our labor over wine and merriment.  

My husband I were tasked with making raspberry souffle and while a non-time consuming event in terms of baking, it sure was laborious every other step of the way. It took us a few hours to prep — pureeing the berries, sieving the compote through the tiniest mesh to get all the seeds out, then whipping in egg whites into the mix ever so lightly so as not deflate the mixture. Then once they were piped into the ramekins, into the oven they went for a little over 10 minutes, until the tops turned golden brown and puffed up just so.

The cooking experience at the CIA is amazing, and I am going back for a dim sum class or finally trying out that pasta making course soon. Definitely a repeater. If you are in the area and would like to check it out use code "COPIAFUN" to take 10% off any classes through the end of the year. 

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Pink Blazer // Cutest new Pastry Shop in San Francisco

Le Marais croissanterie, pastry shop in SF, chic street style, anine bing boots, cords, fall style, beret
Le Marais croissanterie, pastry shop in SF, chic street style, anine bing boots, cords, fall style, beret
Le Marais croissanterie, pastry shop in SF, chic street style, anine bing boots, cords, fall style, beret
Le Marais croissanterie, pastry shop in SF, chic street style, anine bing boots, cords, fall style, beret
Le Marais croissanterie, pastry shop in SF, chic street style, anine bing boots, cords, fall style, beret
Le Marais croissanterie, pastry shop in SF, chic street style, anine bing boots, cords, fall style, beret
Le Marais croissanterie, pastry shop in SF, chic street style, anine bing boots, cords, fall style, beret
Le Marais croissanterie, pastry shop in SF, chic street style, anine bing boots, cords, fall style, beret
Le Marais croissanterie, pastry shop in SF, chic street style, anine bing boots, cords, fall style, beret
Le Marais bakery SF, best breakfast spot in San Francisco, Most instagramable spot for breakfast in San Francisco
{Blazer | Top | Cordoroys | Boots | Handbag | Beret}



San Francisco is my home, a city I love very much, and I don't mind spending all my time here. Exploring on the weekends in the city is my jam, and it's one of those things that doesn't get old because there are so many sights to see, places to discover and new restaurants to try. Living in North Beach, a very visited area by tourists in the city, it's not lost on me how often people from other countries come to tour mine, it's pretty special to know I live in one of the most visited and to me beautiful cities in the world. It's no wonder I want to spend my nights and weekends here in the very town I live in. Sure, weekend getaways to wine country are pretty special, but I love it when I can spend a weekend in my own backyard exploring. 

Recently I was invited to visit a croissanterie opened by the Le Marais chain brand, and it was delicious as you can tell from the images above. I have quite the sweet tooth so when they invited me to enjoy breakfast in their newest spot you better believe I (almost) ordered one of everything. The gluten-free almond cake, seasonal tarts, and tasty coffee from Verve was the perfect start to the morning. If you are ever in the neighborhood and spot a Le Marais shop, I'd definitely recommend exploring it. 

Sponsored by Banana Republic

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Tacubaya – A Culinary Mexican Gem in Berkeley

 
 

Many people don't know this, but my husband is Mexican and was born in beautiful Mexico City, affectionately known as El D.F. (Distrito Federal). We had the opportunity to travel to el D.F. a few New Year Eves ago, and I fell in love, the food was incredible, the people were friendly, and it was so rewarding to see the place where my guy grew up, I honestly can't wait to go back one day. 

When the folks at Tacubaya, a Berkeley local favorite serving up decadent and delicious Mexican food, inspired by the tastes of Mexico city invited us to come and try out their restaurant that's been around for many years but only recently moved into a new space, around the corner, I jumped at the chance. It was so good! We came for brunch and had a delicious serving of café de olla, chilaquiles, tacos, tortilla soup, and churros, for good measure. It was heavenly. My absolute favorites were the café (a beautiful blend of coffee with cinnamon) and the churros, for obvious sweet tooth reasons. Go visit, stat! Also, the vibrant space is gorgeous, bright and airy with pink and aqua walls, it really feels like Mexico City. 

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Updated Business Suit

the modern business woman, Coach leather moto jacket, turtleneck, COS wool pencil skirt, chic work style
the modern business woman, Coach leather moto jacket, turtleneck, COS wool pencil skirt, chic work style
the modern business woman, Coach leather moto jacket, turtleneck, COS wool pencil skirt, chic work style
the modern business woman, Coach leather moto jacket, turtleneck, COS wool pencil skirt, chic work style
the modern business woman, Coach leather moto jacket, turtleneck, COS wool pencil skirt, chic work style
the modern business woman, Coach leather moto jacket, turtleneck, COS wool pencil skirt, chic work style
the modern business woman, Coach leather moto jacket, turtleneck, COS wool pencil skirt, chic work style


There is something special about dressing up, putting one high heel on at a time, shimmying into your business separates and swiping that swath of color on your lips as you take one last look in the mirror to make sure you are looking your best. While this scenario might not be me every day, because, hello Silicon Valley, I do aspire to find glamour in dressing up every single day. On this particular day, I had the pleasure of getting dolled up and shooting at the Penthouse at the Hotel G in San Francisco, the theme was "businesswoman special" as Kat so eloquently explained and I was here for it. I wanted to an updated version of the business suit from yonder days, so I grabbed my favorite moto leather jacket, a pair of studded pumps, big, almost gaudy resin earrings and instead of the standard business suit separates I reached for a turtleneck and a sculptural pencil skirt. I introduce you to the modern businesswoman circa 2018.

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Photography by Shannon Righetti 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Lanvin and Denim


I was recently gifted a few boxes of gorgeous clothing from a woman with a very discerning taste and among the items was this precious Lanvin jacket you see above — the balloon sleeves and decorative broach are to-die-for. It came with a matching pencil skirt but I wore it as a shirt in the images above to dress it down. I paired my new fabulous jacket with skinny denim, and my recent splurge --- the 
I R O boots you see above. 

I loved rocking this look, I felt very chic and grownup, it could have been the Lanvin, it could have been the I R O, hell it could have been me feeling my hairstyle at the moment, either way, this is most definitely an outfit repeater. 

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