Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Printed Summer Dresses + Straw Bags in Wine Country

Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery
Healdsburg wine weekend, wine country get away, red maxi summer dress, summer prints in wine country, straw bag, Dutcher Crossing winery


A few days ago you might recall my expansive wine weekend in Healdsburg recap, it's here in case you missed it! On the last day our itinerary went a little something like this: wake up, eat pastries, put on unintentionally matching summer frocks with all ladies present, head to BBQ, eat hot dogs, drink wine, hang out in the sun. To say it was a perfect day was an understatement, if I could map out a summer day in my future, that is precisely what I'd want it to look like.

Chanda, Jules and I all unintentionally matched each other in our red, pink and white looks (see the 2nd to the last picture here for proof!) The weather in Wine Country wasn't terribly hot so I could get away with sleeves and a maxi cut. I love this apple red shade, it indeed is one of those shades that I would wear any time of the year, and somehow looks better on me when I have a tan. This little straw bag is my ONE TRUE summer score -- you'll never believe I found it in Chinatown for $1.99! They had it in a baby pink color too, but I figured I really didn't need two, I'm debating if I made the right choice.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

The Perfect Weekend Getaway to Healdsburg


The weekend before my summer holiday to Europe a group of friends and I booked it to Healdsburg to on what felt like one of the first warm Summer weekends. It was the perfect pre-getaway getaway. Healdsburg and wine country for that matter will always have a soft spot in my heart, it's the place I run off to when I miss the sun and the San Francisco Fogust (see fog + August) won't do. With all the unfortunate fires that have affected this area in and around the surrounding areas now is the time to really bring tourism back to Wine Country, I encourage those thinking about making a trip to do so! The city is thriving, the weather is glorious, the wine and food is second to none. Below I'm sharing my itinerary, where I ate, where I slept and where I wine'd. Follow along for the perfect weekend getaway to Healdsburg.

Stay: Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites

Why: This is a different kind of hotel, the property has four separate suites, and each suite has three rooms with en-suite bathrooms complete with a living area, and kitchen which we entirely took advantage of. It's the perfect lodging situation for a group of friends, or a larger family in which to visit the area. We stayed in the Plaza Suite, and it comfortably accommodated our party of six.

It's peak Summer season in tourist-driven Healdsburg, you'd think the place would be crawling with bellboys, check-in hosts, valet and the like but the property was smoothly run like a well-oiled machine by none other than Holly, a small but mighty innkeeper. She took care of everything, in fact, I barely saw another soul on the premises besides our group. Holly made sure we had all the fixin's to make sure our home away from home felt wine country ready, we were greeted with a glorious spread of wine, fruit, cheese and local bread to kick start our weekend.

weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,
weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,

Our rooms were spacious, luxe and the beds were so insanely comfortable. Definitely check out Two Thirty-Five Luxury Suites the next time you are looking for a place to stay in Healdsburg.

Where: Half a block from Healdsburg historic downtown plaza at 235 Healdsburg Ave.

Where to Wine:


weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,


We visited some fantastic local wine tasting rooms, the majority of which were only a few blocks from our hotel accommodations, which is always a perk, no need to worry about who is driving to the next spot!

Banshee Wines: This hipster cool spot is number one on my list, it's the equivalent of Scribe, which almost everyone I know seems to love. It has a southwestern meets Palm Springs meets mid Century vibe. While that's a whole lot of vibe, just know it's cool, and the wine is good. Definitely book a corner booth to get the full landscape of your visit while enjoying the rosé. It's very photogenic.

weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,
weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,
weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,
weekend in wine country, how to spend 24 hours in Healdsburg, Banshee wines,

Grapeseed: This was such a cool concept, GrapeSeed is known for their wine meets art experience, touted as the largest art gallery north of Los Angeles they do seated flights smack dab in the middle of their gallery. You also have the chance to sip and walk the property and experience it however you'd like. Loved this concept because it was very different from any other wine tasting flight I've ever done in Healdsburg.


Portalupi: This family owned and operated tasting room in downtown Healdsburg rounded out our day of wine tasting. And on the perfect note too as we did a wine and food pairing around 4pm right when we were feeling a little peckish. The Cali- Italian inspired bites were so tasty -- think goat cheese, sun-ripened tomatoes with balsamic glaze, and ravioli. Let's just say one morsel of each was enough to open this girls appetite. 


Dutcher Crossing: I absolutely love this brand, I've raved about them before on my Instagram and on my blog in the past so it should come as no surprise that I highly suggest visiting DC when you are in Healdsburg or near it. They are not just a tasting room they are a vineyard with beautiful sprawling fields, picnic tables to take in the scenery, complete with a sweet winery dog who doesn't mind company and isn't afraid to say hello. We happened to show up on a Sunday when they had a BBQ for the release of their latest Summer wine, and let's just say my new favorite food and wine pairing are a hot dog and with a bold red. True summer in a meal. 



Where to dine: 



There was so much good food consumed on this trip, and the hot dogs weren't even the best part. Keep on reading to hear a few of the restaurants really made our trip a foodie success.

Studio Barndiva: We visited the Gallery Bar on Friday when we drove in. After announcing our reservation, we were promptly sat in a beautiful, almost secluded, private corner with twinkling lights making for a very romantic mood for our party of six. You might not need a reservation after 8pm as we almost had the place to ourselves, so don't fret if you don't have one. The fare was California fresh fare with a French bistro twist. We left completely stuffed and only slightly buzzed as the entire table unanimously ordered the same drink -- the Special-- made with brown butter whiskey, heirloom apple juice, and fresh thyme syrup!

Valette: This was my second time at Valette, and boy did it not disappoint, slightly overwhelming but that was not at all a problem, you see my seatmates decided it was a good idea to do the chefs "Trust Me" tasting menu and since I had experienced it here before I assumed I already knew what to expect. I was very wrong. Assuming only five courses would be served as that is what I had read on Valette's website, turns out I read that wrong, and it actually said that it's a minimum of five courses! Long story short about 10 courses came out, and without actually knowing that I ate every since course, not wanting to waste any of the delicious food including that fantastic warm bread and butter they whip up in the kitchen. Let's just say towards the end of the meal my seatmates could not even finish their glass of wine-- UTTER SHOCK AND HORROR-- I guess they were really full. Truth be told, no matter how full I am the wine will always be drunk.

BIG thanks to the Two Thirty Five Luxury Suites, Banshee Wines, Grapeseed, Portalupi, Dutcher Crossing, Barndiva and Valette for an incredible weekend! 

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Partial photography by Stephanie Hopkins

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Review on the New McQueen Documentary

Self Portrait polka dot top, Self-Portrait ruffle asymmetrical top, McQueen documentary review, studio portrait, how to style short curly hair, resin earring trend, BaubleBar resin flower earrings
Self Portrait polka dot top, Self-Portrait ruffle asymmetrical top, McQueen documentary review, studio portrait, how to style short curly hair, resin earring trend, BaubleBar resin flower earrings
Self Portrait polka dot top, Self-Portrait ruffle asymmetrical top, McQueen documentary review, studio portrait, how to style short curly hair, resin earring trend, BaubleBar resin flower earrings
Self Portrait polka dot top, Self-Portrait ruffle asymmetrical top, McQueen documentary review, studio portrait, how to style short curly hair, resin earring trend, BaubleBar resin flower earrings
Self Portrait polka dot top, Self-Portrait ruffle asymmetrical top, McQueen documentary review, studio portrait, how to style short curly hair, resin earring trend, BaubleBar resin flower earrings
Self Portrait polka dot top, Self-Portrait ruffle asymmetrical top, McQueen documentary review, studio portrait, how to style short curly hair, resin earring trend, BaubleBar resin flower earrings
Self Portrait polka dot top, Self-Portrait ruffle asymmetrical top, McQueen documentary review, studio portrait, how to style short curly hair, resin earring trend, BaubleBar resin flower earrings
Self Portrait polka dot top, Self-Portrait ruffle asymmetrical top, McQueen documentary review, studio portrait, how to style short curly hair, resin earring trend, BaubleBar resin flower earrings
Self Portrait polka dot top, Self-Portrait ruffle asymmetrical top, McQueen documentary review, studio portrait, how to style short curly hair
{Top (on major sale!) | Denim | Lipstick | Earring}


This weekend my husband and I took a trip down to LA to visit family, it was brief but so lovely to get out of San Francisco for 48 hours. My brother-in-law and his wife just had a baby, and we were visiting the little one for the first time so on top of the fantastic weather, we were graced with, meeting my new nephew was the cherry on top of the weekend.

We took an early flight from back from LA and made it to San Francisco by midday, with so much time left to enjoy on Sunday Funday we decided to see the new McQueen documentary and let me tell you it was so moving! Go see it now, it was one of the best fashion films I've seen in a while. The film depicts the rise and fall of legendary visionary and designer Alexandar McQueen. To see him find himself, and hone his craft in his hometown of Sussex, to become the creative director at Givenchy, to fully realizing the potential of his strangely beautiful McQueen lines and becoming a household name was inspiring.

Definitely a feel-good movie at times, to see an ordinary boy from a humble household chase his dream of designing until he succeeded was beautiful. But to see the tumultuous ups and downs of the fame, the dream realized, and to see how truly vulnerable McQueen was, was the real hold of the movie. At the end of the film, while the credits were rolling, the entire movie theatre audience sat still -- possibly just as moved by the film--- and in our microwave mentality world where everything is go, go, go it was touching to see an entire room pause to reflect on the lesson we had all just learned. If you are a fashion fanatic like I am, have a love of documentaries, or just like impactful movies I'd highly suggest making the time to see this film.

Photography by Jane Kim

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

How to Get Invited to Blogger Events

Today I want to share some of the events I was invited to in July. As a blogger in San Francisco, there are lots of events, dinners, openings, etc. and I'm lucky enough to be invited to a bunch of them. I often get asked how I get on the invite lists, and the truth is there is no official invite list that all bloggers get onto. Just do what you keep on doing, creating consistent, excellent quality content, brand yourself as a local blogger in the city you live in (or the most significant city you live near) and the PR agencies, restaurants and those in charge of that ubiquitous RSVP list will find you. Oh, and don't forget to network! Going to an event is fun but at the end of every event ask yourself did I meet enough people who didn't already know about my blog? Did I introduce myself to the PR rep who invited me? Did I follow someone on IG/LinkedIn after speaking to them? Those are key actions to drive engagement to your channels as well as establishing yourself as a serious blogger in the area you live in. So check out some of the events that I went to in July, below.


Bare Snacks held a Veggie garden party celebration to launch their new chips. They had a few DIY projects including a build your own pickling station and decorate a potted herb plant. It was fun, and I got to connect with lots of bloggers not at my usual events since it was a food-related event. One thing to remember if you are a fashion blogger and go to a food event you will most likely see lots of new faces, don't be afraid to say hello, people always want to make new friends!

how to get invited to blogger events, networking at blogger events, San Francisco events

Colavita, an Italian olive oil company, hosted a press lunch. To be fair this was in late June, but I had to share since it was one of my favorite events recently! It was a full-on sit-down experience with many courses and matching wines to pair with the chef's olive-oil laden feast. Again outside of the fashion space, so I was lucky enough to meet lots of new people. To my right, I had the owner of the Colavita brand, to my left I had a news reporter focused on entertaining, and in front, I had a food writer. I left with a bag full of olive oil and a new respect for cooking with it! Have you seen my Olive Oil lemon cake recipe? It's on my stories now under Cooking.

how to get invited to blogger events, networking at blogger events, San Francisco events, Colavita olive oil

Off the Grid, a local food truck outdoor experience recently launched their latest location in Maiden Lane on certain days. They invited me to check out the food, ambiance, and vendors. Any excuse to have lunch in the sunshine while listening to live music is alright by me. 

how to get invited to blogger events, networking at blogger events, San Francisco events, Off the Grid

Kim + Ono, a local kimono brand just opened up their first store in the Chinatown area of San Francisco, and it was a huge to-do! They had bites from China Live, a gaggle of fashion bloggers, and even a local reporter asking for sound bites. I love this brand, I've worked with them before and honestly so excited to see them take this significant next step!

how to get invited to blogger events, networking at blogger events, San Francisco events, Kim and Ono

I finally made my way to the Museum of Ice Cream via an invite from My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. They took over the space, and it was one hell of a night. I ate six mochis, and one cherry cotton candy- it was the sugar high of a lifetime. 

Pro tip: ask for a plus one so you can guarantee a photographer by your side and a built-in friend since it is tough asking just anyone to take your picture when you are all just trying to get a unicorn picture!


how to get invited to blogger events, networking at blogger events, San Francisco events, Museum of Ice Cream, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream

Oren Hummus opened up a restaurant in the FiDi district a few weeks ago. I was invited to test out the menu and hang out at their opening party. I know Oren from when I used to work in Menlo Park and would eat lunch there, it really is delicious and healthy food! I highly recommend them if you are looking for a quick bite in the city or the Peninsula. Pro tip: get the hummus with beets, it's life changing.

how to get invited to blogger events, networking at blogger events, San Francisco events, Oren's Hummus

Monday, July 30, 2018

Cooking with Carlina: Lamb Meatball Pitas

lamb meatball pita recipe

Almost a year ago I became enamored with my quest to document my cooking skills in the kitchen, and the self-titled series, albeit a bit narcissistic, "Cooking with Carlina" was born. At the time I was working full time at my Marketing office day job, coming home after a tiring workout and determined to whip up something tasty but healthy that would satisfy both my husband and me after a long day. I was inspired by a recipe I saw on Design Love Fest's site and decided to make a version of my own with the ingredients I had on hand in the kitchen. I shared it once, then twice and a third time with lots of wine consumption, cameos from said husband and the feedback from those watching the stories was overwhelmingly positive! I definitely never expected that the comment I would hear the most in the coming weeks was that you guys actually liked following a fashion blogger discuss her kitchen skills on Sunday night's when I tried "Cooking with Carlina" -- it was relatable, easy to follow along, and entertaining, per some of your generous feedback.

So here, months and months later, as promised, is the full recipe on how to make my lamb meatball pitas, below. It is my take on Mediterranean/Greek food and can be made relatively quickly with little to no prior experience in the kitchen, I promise! I'd love to hear if you make this recipe in the comments below or if you think you'll attempt to make it.

lamb meatball pita recipe, healthy meals for summer
lamb meatball pita recipe, easy summer recipes
lamb meatball pita recipe, easy summer recipes
lamb meatball pita recipe, easy summer recipes
lamb meatball pita recipe, easy summer recipes
 lamb meatball pita recipe, easy summer recipes
lamb meatball pita recipe, easy summer recipes
lamb meatball pita recipe, easy summer recipes
lamb meatball pita recipe, easy summer recipes

Ingredients needed:
  • 1 lb. of organic ground lamb, I get mine at Whole Foods
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup of Feta
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3 day old chunk of baguette to make a quick batch of breadcrumbs, enough for 2-3 tablespoons
  • 4 tablespoons of greek yogurt
  • a bunch of mint or parsley
  • juice from 1/2 of a lemon or lime
  • 4-6 pita rounds
  • 1/2 an English cucumber (garnish)
  • 1/2 a tomato (garnish) 
Directions:
  1. Wash hands ;)
  2. Roughly chop onion, cilantro, and feta 
  3. Take 2-3 day old baguette and throw into a blender to turn into roughly chopped breadcrumbs
  4. Mix the egg into a large bowl
  5. Put the lamb into the same bowl with mixed egg, then add chopped onion, cilantro, feta, and salt and pepper
  6. Mix all ingredients with your hands (take your rings off for best results, you want to get in there!)
  7. Take one and a half tablespoons of mixture into the palms of your hands and roll into balls
  8. Mold the rest of the lamb mixture
  9. Now there are two ways to cook, for a more crispy texture fry lamb meatballs in a few teaspoons of olive oil; for a healthy alternative bake meatballs in the oven (like I did) at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
  10. To make the yogurt sauce mix the yogurt, chopped mint/parsley, lemon, and salt well
  11. Thinly slice your English cucumber and tomatoes 
  12. Warm up your pitas and spread a layer of yogurt sauce on the pita
  13. Add three meatballs onto of yogurt sauce
  14. Add a garnish of tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro on top
  15. Pour yourself a glass of wine (this might as well be step one)
  16. Enjoy your meal!

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

How My Style has Evolved from 2012 to Today

California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
California cool girl style, adidas tee shirt, Arno star mules, gold chain pendant necklaces, big gold hoops, short curly hair, how to style short curly hair, plaid oversized blazer,
{Mules gifted from Arno Cooperative, Blazer gifted from Modern Citizen}




There is nothing like that California cool style. But interestingly, it's not a style I've ever really associated with "Allergic to Vanilla" -- since the premise was the opposite, having a wild fashion sense when life seems a bit ho-hum, it's that one piece you can actually control, right? For me having fun with fashion was it, the louder the look, the more unique I felt. If there was a dress I really loved in two shades -- black or polka dotted, you betcha homegirl was going with the later. If I was invited to an event, and the dress code wasn't listed the goal was to always be the best dressed in the room. If I was going to work on a normal Tuesday at my NASA gig my motto was always "don't dress for the job you have, but dress for the job you want" -- needless to say I was, most of the time, always G'd up from the feet up as Snoop Dog says. 

However, for some reason a few years back I noticed a shift in my dressing priorities -- I was becoming more Sincerely Jules and less Atlantic Pacific, to put it into blogger styles. When I first started this blog I lived in a city about one hour from San Francisco called San Jose, where I felt a strong urge to stand out. Years later I moved to San Francisco, and everyone was in hoodies, leggings or denim, I knew I didn't want to also go that route, but it was important to feel comfortable while still polished. With steep hills added to my commute I traded in my 3.5-inch pumps for Tory Burch Reva's, I swapped my usual J. Crew polished separates for their edgier Zara counterparts and I slowly began to update what I always knew as "my style" to fit in with the big city that I had moved to. For me it wasn't about fitting in, that was never important to me, it was about feeling comfortable in my skin and in my clothing choices no matter how they evolved. If you want to see that J. Crew queen from 2012, head on over here and here to check out some of my early work. ;)

This look was not planned too much, I was running late to a BBQ and threw it together, and it just so happened to be highly complimented by guys and girls at said BBQ. I decided to throw it on again to photograph with Jane and loved how it reminds me a bit of that California cool girl with a forever "Allergic to Vanilla" edge. 

Photography by Jane Kim

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