Happy birthday Jennifer!

Jennifer, I still remember when I was 6 years old and said I would like a fat baby sister to put in a basket on the back of my bicycle.  Now you are taller than me!!!

I hope you are having a fabulous celebration – here’s to you on your birthday!

(cake via Smitten Kitchen)



Yesterday, after much humming and hawing, I purchased a bike. It’s a lovely cream-colored Linus Dutchi 3-speed, perfect for traipsing about the city. I was deciding between the Linus and the Public J Bike (which I believe has been replaced by the C bike), but ended up with the Linus because they began offering a new “Small” size that was ultimately a better fit for my height.  Now I’m looking forward to leaving my car parked and enjoying the summer and fall days on my bike!

(via the Sartorialist)

(via Garance Dore – and yes, although I didn’t realize it before, that is in fact my bike!!)


Martin Keehn backpacks

Ladies, do you ever peruse men’s clothing for inspiration?  I often find myself checking in on my favorite men’s brands for the perfect leather laptop case, fisherman’s sweater, striped shirt, or wristwatch.

Today I bumped into Martin Keehn’s delicious backpacks sold by Neighbor.  My birthday is coming up at the end of the month and Neighbor is offering free shipping – perhaps I’ll be treating myself to one of these backpacks!



Small but Cool

During my first 2 years in San Francisco, I lived in an adorable studio on the west side of Russian Hill (steps away from the Crooked Street and the Hyde Street cable car).  I had hardwood floors, an enormous walk-in closet (that I had at one point debated converting into an office or guest space), picturesque built-ins, and white arched entries.  It was very affordable (at least by San Francisco standards) and in a lovely neighborhood – from my building’s rooftop, I could enjoy a beer while taking in unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.  My friends called it the Sex and the City apartment, because it looked very similar to Carrie Bradshaw’s brownstone digs.

So I was delighted to discover Apartment Therapy’s annual tradition of holding a “Small/Cool” competition – a celebration of the tiny studios, 1-BRs, and junior 1-BRs that we’ve probably all lived in at one point or another.  My old apartment falls into the Tiny category (just 50 square feet too big to qualify for as a Teeny-Tiny).

When the apartment is small, you have to get creative with storage and thinking vertically is almost always the way to go.  I love what this SF couple has done with their kitchen.  The metal shelving reflects light, enhancing brightness, and stores A LOT! (Erin & Danny, San Francisco CA, 500 square feet)

Every space counts – I love the idea of turning a hallway closet into a workspace.  Removing the doors and replacing them with curtains takes away the “closet” feel, too.  (Liz, Chicago IL, 360 square feet)

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Thom Dolan spring 2011

I like to tell people that in San Francisco, it’s spring all year round.  (That is generally better received than Mark Twain’s version: “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.”)  So I’m always on the look out for “spring” pieces that are light, layer well, and keep you reasonably warm in addition to making you look good.

I was delighted to discover designer Thomasine Dolan’s Thom Dolan line, while perusing spring essentials on StevenAlan.com: there is such a lovely retro, preppy vibe to everything but the pieces are still cool and sexy.  Bonus points for the pretty bikinis (that are decidedly NOT appropriate for San Francisco, but perfect for a summer day trip to Pacifica or Stinson Beach!).

~ Cathay