Maui, Morimoto, Malasadas

Morimoto at the Andaz on Maui is known for its upscale Japanese cuisine. After your meal, make sure to leave room for dessert. The malasadas here are perfect. Fluffy and moist on the inside, lightly fried on the outside, and evenly coated with sugar. Three exquisite dipping sauces, apple banana cheesecake, sake caramel, and Waialua chocolate, transform the dessert to a black tie event, even though when you look down, you’re still wearing shorts and flip flops.

a Gentle Winter

In Berkeley, a gentle winter encourages fertile soil all year long.
A lone winter camellia innocently blushes pink, hoping for us to notice her.
Not to be outdone, broccoli rabe from our simple little garden gets the invitation to dinner. Yum!

Setting up the Classic Canon 5D MK II as a Movie Camera

Setting up the Canon 5D MK II as a movie camera.
Setting up the Canon 5D MK II as a movie camera.

The Canon 5D MK II was released over 7 years ago and is still a BEAST in picture quality and functionality. Today, it can be found on the second hand market at rock bottom prices. We picked one up and started using it for video. To get the best filmic look on the camera, try the following settings, and then do post processing in your favorite editor.

How to set up the Canon 5D MK II for Video
1) Set to Manual Mode
2) Shutter Speed set to 50 (if shooting at 25 fps) The shutter speed should be double your fps – to reduce motion blur or high speed shutter. You might have to use an ND to stop down the light if too bright.
3) Set ISO – the key ISO’s to use are 160, 320, 640, 1250. The lowest numbers are the most noise free, but also require the most light.
4) Set a picture profile settings:
Sharpness – 0
Contrast – 0
Saturation – minus 2
Color Tone – 0
This setting makes it harder to focus and looks flatter, but you get 2 stops of latitude for post processing.

You now have your Canon 5D MK II set up as a movie camera.
Now go shoot your masterpiece!

**Settings courtesy of Philip Bloom.

the Find

We’re currently in the middle of a home remodel so I’ve been looking for off-the-cuff items to spruce up our space. Luckily, I’ve found a hidden gem where I could find vintage one-of-a-kind items on the cheap – the local thrift store. So far, I’ve picked up a vintage army cot (for an upcoming DIY project), a leather trunk, and other cool decor items.

the Find - episode 1 - Vintage Full Grain Leather Camera Bag
Vintage Full Grain Leather Camera Bag – on DIY refinished  barn wood floors.

On my latest trip I came across this vintage structured tobacco leather bag. It’s over 30 years old, but the full grain leather still looks brand new. I love the boxy silhouette and the classic buckle detailing. I’ll use it as a camera bag when I’m out and about and as a decor piece when it’s not in use. It cost me $25, more than I usually spend at this place, but totally worth it.

Craft Cocktails With a Twist — And One Amazing Tip That Will Change the Way You Garnish Forever

With alfresco entertaining in full swing, it’s time to up the ante with a few delicious signature cocktails. We came across two refreshing recipes during an amazing experience at Domaine Chandon in Napa Valley.

Ian Winget (mixologist, sommelier, and Domaine Chandon alum), personally taught us how to whip up two cocktails that literally took two minutes to make. The first drink was called a Summer Sweet and Savory — Summer savory is actually an herb that resembles rosemary. Made with sweet fruit and and Ian’s famous strawberry rhubarb bitters, this crisp concoction is perfect for brunch outdoors or early evening cocktails.

If you really want to show off your hipster cocktail cred, the Blackberry Crush was made for you. Devised of muddled mint, blackberry, and served in a cool mini mason jar, this drink is sure to impress your friends. The secret to getting all of that great flavor and smell from cocktail herbs? SLAP IT. Yes, it sounded a little strange when Ian told us to slap our herbs (in this case, mint), but once we “slapped” it, the herbal essence was much stronger and flavorful. Here are the recipes below. Thank you Ian and Domaine Chandon for the wonderful evening!


Summer Sweet and Savory Recipe:
Makes one cocktail

3 oz strawberry lemonade
3 dashes of strawberry rhubarb bitters
2 to 3 oz Chandon Blanc de Noirs
Spring of fresh Summer Savory
2 large strawberries, quartered

Pour strawberry lemonade into a shaker. Add the bitters and ice. Shake. Strain into a coupe or other decorative glass. Add the Summer Savory and strawberries. Top with Blanc de Noirs and serve.


Blackberry Crush Recipe:
Makes one cocktail

7 ripe blackberries
5 mint leaves
1/2 oz agave syrup (or simple syrup)
2-3 oz Chandon Brut Classic
1 lemon slice

Put the blackberries, mint, and agave syrup in the bottom of a rocks glass. Muddle until crushed (be careful not to overdo it!) Add the Brut Classic and then stir. Garnish with lemon slice and serve.

Get the Look:
Pharrell Red Shawl Cardigan

“Style says who you are without saying a word.”
Pharrell Williams in Red Cardigan and Stetson Hat at Samsung Galaxy III and Lupe Fiasco

Everything Pharrell Williams does, he does with his own unique flair. In NYC we ran into him at the Samsung Galaxy and Lupe Fiasco event, and he was rocking the freshest red shawl cardigan sweater.
Anyone able to positively identify this sweater?


*Pharrell Williams photos courtesy of*

Mixed Prints &
A Pop of Color

Keeping warm and colorful at the water shed.

After a few frigid winters in New York, it was time to update my winter regalia. This cardigan by Ralph Lauren (Denim & Supply) is cozy with an amazing shawl collar and colorful Navajo pattern.  Perfect for intimate fireside conversations and warm enough for brisk evening walks to the market. The more I wear it, the more classic it becomes. Mixing Prints, a pop of colorRalph Lauren Denim & Supply Sweater | Camouflage Cargo Pant | Slouchy Hat | Nike Mid Rise | Warby Parker Spectacles

2-20-2014 Look Blushing Truth

The New Essential:

Phillip Lim Fall 2013 Fashion ShowA leather jacket has always been on my wardrobe essentials list, but finding the one (that will end my search once and for all),  has been quite the challenge. The ones I love are way over my budget and the more affordable options just aren’t good enough. The changing season offers opportunities to set sale alerts on such pieces, and while prices do drop, it’s never been tempting enough for me to make the move. eBay to the rescue! I’ve found many gems on eBay and this one tops my list of major scores. It’s still a splurge piece, but well worth the investment. The leather is buttery soft and the silhouette is the perfect harmony of edgy and just a little whimsical thanks to the subtle peplum details. Spring is already on my mind, providing inspiration for the outfit below. Cool, yet unbelievably comfortable.Spring-Outfit-Ideas

3.1 Phillip Lim leather jacket | Rachel Comey denim pants | Topshop Shell Top | Tibi Bee Heel Mules