Shun the should

I’m finding that life is good when we are quiet. When we are expansive thinkers instead of screen-staring cogs. I’m finding that money, work, approval from others, stubborn self-reliance have nothing to do with contentment. Security, sure, but I’d rather peer inward for that. Yeah, I’d rather be aware and balanced and in tune, mindful of what my soul craves and body needs. I’m finding that life is good, really good in a primal I-may-just-crack-open-with-joy-and-heart-shaped-confetti kind of way when I set goals without worrying if I’ll achieve them in the way I think I should. When I lose track of the word should all together. That’s when life is good.

So tonight, when all I wanted was to wall the day’s work at my front door, and wipe my headache on the mat, I turned the knob feeling creatively malnourished and walked in with a heavier step than normal. What I should do to get ahead, carve my path, plan my future…all that burned holes in my hardwood.

I immediately extinguished them. I wired my dad’s record player and let Sufjan’s bells and horns and clashes weave into my hair and interlace my cold fingers for the first time since moving into my new place. I wore his old Gap sweater, blue and slightly pilled but warm as a summer swim meet. I baked eggnog scones with a mexican chocolate glaze because it was just us in the house, me and the quiet, the moon as our witness.

eggnog scones


Mom Knapping Part I

There are a lot of good people in this world. More than bad, I think. They’re out there, quietly giving — caring for friends like they’re family and strangers like they’re friends. I think these people live humbly, and for the most part, rather happily. I think they don’t consider themselves generous; they hardly consider themselves at all.

Like my mom, who put me first for 23 years.

This Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to return the good. To treat her. Take her new places. Show her a side of the country and herself that have always been more than an arm’s length away.

And it’s all because the good people at my work called me out to ATL for business over the holiday weekend, and sent me with a loved one so I wouldn’t spend Thanksgiving alone eating Rolos in an AMC theater.


Here’s how chapter one of this holiday mom knapping went down: SFO to Charlotte, NC. Night drive from Charlotte to Asheville. Airbnb stay in see-your-breath-it’s-so-damn-cold Asheville. Leave SYBISDC-Asheville 2 days early because of the SDC weather (read: ill-equipped Jetta and Californian from beachtown, USA weren’t cut out for the surprise storm and icy road conditions/snow that came with it.)

But we made the most of our short time there. We learned about George Vanderbilt – himself, his family, his subtle and quaint home in the countryside — ate unbelievable food, drank local beer, took a few strolls around the colorful town.

Above all, Mom adroitly assumed the role of world’s greatest co-pilot/Siri whisperer and got us everywhere we needed to go safely. From downtown to down the Blue Ridge Parkway. She even let me listen to John Denver through it all. What a gal.














Stumbled upon a ‘lil vintage shop downtown where I bought a piece of art that warrants it’s own blog post. I also bought a puffy vest. It makes me look like a bumble bee.





Then we contributed to the Vanderbilt fortune with wine tasting and a tour of the tiny property.



























One day I’ll camp the crap out of these blue ridge mountains. I’ll have a pack and a down bag and greasy hair and really strong soles and soul.

Until then, I’ll have the fond memory of chills jumping up my spine — both from the view and from the temperature.


Our last meal in Asheville was at Rhubarb. It was as charming and warm as a 1940’s love letter, and as hip as The Mission’s hippest hipster. The menu matched the decor: original, tasteful, daring.


My lady likes local beers. I like that about her.











And then…. we drove from NC to ATL. This is our South Carolina Selfie.


More to come!


Like any respectable woman of ample appetite and ampler wardrobe, I hold both my kitchen and closet in high esteem. And to offer them even more of my already limited attention, I’m making these mash ups — recipes I want to try paired with clothes I’d very much like to buy. What do you think?

1. grilled soft cheese, thyme honey and fresh figs

Eating Wear

2. lemon oat bourbon cake donuts 

Eating Wear

3. roasted strawberry and toasted coconut popsicles 

Eating Wear

4. sakura macarons

Eating Wear

5. sizzling prawns with garlic, chilli and lime

Eating Wear

Roll with it

What started out as an innocent quest for a pie recipe ended in a directionless Pinterest power hour. But had I not got sucked into the time-punching vortex that houses Foodie, Treats, Yummies, Sweets, or OMG Pies boards, I would have never thought to a) roast pears with Espresso Mascarpone Cream or b) roll a dough right.

These rolling pins are part of an ‘Altered Appliance’ project by students of the Masters of Interior Architecture and Retail Design program. They investigated how low-tech appliances can be remastered into alternative design tools for a fresher kitchen experience.

Alls I gotta say is: birthday month.







Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 10.31.09 AM



Midnight snack

Just one question: where is this cake and why is it not in my mouth?

all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography all images © Kathreinerle Photography

Thank God you can’t consume calories just by looking at them. I would have gained 7 dress sizes in the hour I just lost in the photisserie worm hole kingdom of cakes.


The Forest Feast

Not too long ago, a certain brown-eyed friend asked me how I choose what to write about each day. I told him I either expand upon things and themes happening in my daily life, or write about people I admire, subsequently using heir lives and adventures as templates to my own.

This here post is an amalgamation of both. My daily life has shifted to incorporate more vitamins, minerals, and veggies in raw form, and Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast is unapologetically cool. She makes these recipes and snaps these shots — take a closer peek. And check out her about section.


Every so often I fall asleep on my own arm. This is good and fine, normal even,  until five or six hours pass and I wake up in a panic, aware of only three of my limbs. First things first, I try to move it. Inconceivable. With my functioning arm, I grab the heavy piece of flesh that is not receiving any signals from my brain and fling it fiercely across what feels to be the entire apartment. It’s still at my side. At a place where tingling meets burning, I feel the blood start to move like hundreds of tiny red spiders. I start to believe this state is permanent, and have already begun mourning my left arm.

It was the most unbearably perfect dream that was disrupted by the sudden awareness of my lifeless ghost-arm last night. Spain. Ocean view. Horizontal sun rays streaming through a kitchen window. The beginning of a dinner party, warm with conversation and intimacy.

It must have been because I was looking at these photos from the latest Kinfolk dinner in Philadelphia before falling asleep. These people are living my dream.

[images via Parker Fitzgerald]