Tuesday, October 30

inspired by locals: dave from home

As I've mentioned before, my neighborhood has some pretty awesome spots... most of which are run by small business owners. Recently, I befriended Dave Ross, co-owner of HOME, an adorable yet edgy boutique in the heart of North Park. Read on to hear what inspired him to quit the corporate world and follow his passion for marketing and branding:

dave ross, co-owner of home 

Your logo is pretty iconic. Tell us the story behind it!
The HOME logo was designed by our uncle and his wife, Cynthia and Richard Ross. HOME was a bar in New York City in 1969... it was open for 10 years and our unclesold it in '79. HOME as a bar was a safehaven, it was off the beaten path, 92nd and 2nd in Manhattan,so it brought in a lot of artists and musicians. Our uncle (Richard Ross) became fast friends with John Lennon. They partied, yachted, even though they weren’t sailors and drove fancy cars around together, just living it up. The whole time John lived in NYC, they blossomed into spiritual friends. Anyways, when John was being deported from New York, he wore the HOME shirt to signify that NYC was his home. It was one of the most photographed tees John wore.

photo courtesy of espacio alternativo... does this guy look familiar?

Why did you decide to open a retail store?
I worked in the action sports industry for two decades in marketing and brand development so I had a branding background. I got to a point where I wanted to work with my family and get a businesss to its full potential. Plus we loved the logo [from our uncle's bar] and we wanted to pay homage to our uncle and the friendships he had with people, the kind that signified a fun aspect of American life. Our first retail store opened in Encinitas 10 years ago. We've had the North Park store for two years now. People love the fact that HOME has to do with John Lennon because The Beatles touched so many peoples’ souls. So it was just kind of a give in.

adrian ross: buyer

Why did you choose to open your stores in San Diego?
My dad's from the Bronx my mom's from upstate [New York]. They left New York because they wanted a change in their lifestyle. They were raised in a certain type of household and they wanted to explore themselves while they were young and ambitious. They wanted to find themselves. So I was born and raised in San Diego as well as my partners and brothers, Nick and Adrian.

How do you plan on growing the brand?
We've talked about having more stores and building the brand. We just want to concentrate on getting more shoppers out and teaming up with clothing retail stores here to build awareness that North Park isn’t just a place to come to drink and have dinner but you could spend the whole day here shopping and enjoying what the neighborhood has to offer.

What makes your store stand out against the other shops inSan Diego?
We offer well-rounded products at great prices. Adrian is the main buyer and he's really talented at merchandising stores. He takes into consideration the neighborhor and who he wants to dress. But I think HOME is special because there's something for everyone... almost. We take pieces of existing clothing and reengineer the pieces to make them unique, mostly jackets, denim vests, mostly mens. We also buy off the public. We believe that a mercantile company is a unique blend of vintage and local jewelry designers and brands. We sell 60 percent new and 40 percent vintage/used clothing.

What do you think makes North Park a special neighborhood?
It's packed full of magic! Haha, it’s a nice blend of what downtown can offer without the congestion. There are eclectic stores and restaurants, mostly owned by small business owners. The people who live and work in the community are awesome and then there are a few dangerous guys who keep it interesting.

Visit Dave and spiff up your fall wardrobe at one of HOME's two locations

North Park, San Diego
3013 University Ave.

Encinitas, San Diego
629 South Coast Highway 101

Monday, October 29

a glimpse at the past week

this past week... i took the ferry into the city a few times...

...spent a weekend in carmel for my grandma's 85th...

...continued my good salad-making...
(spinach, arugula, tomato, apple, candied pecans and goat cheese)

...visited lagunitas' brewery...

...and went to the san rafael farmers' market!

It was a successful trip to the Bay Area... I have to say. This weekend, I'm traveling again (I know I know, tough life) to Chicago for a little reunion with my three best friends. Let's just say I couldn't be more excited for us all to be together again. Here we are in all our glory!

*  *  *  *  *

Wednesday, October 24

tofu lettuce wraps

In the spirit of eating healthy, I concocted a pretty delicious and low-cal recipe for tofu lettuce wraps... plus the ingredients are relatively cheap to buy! Bursting with flavor and nutrients, this dish is deliciously satisfying and great the next day for leftovers.

tofu, butter lettuce, soy sauce, garlic-chili paste, 
onion, zucchini, peanuts, olive oil, mushrooms, garlic

Two hours before begininning your meal, dice tofu into small cubes and marinate in soy sauce and garlic-chili paste in the refrigerator. Once marinated, chop garlic, zucchini, mushrooms and onions and sautee in a bit of olive oil until soft and lightly browned. Then set aside. Sautee tofu with marinade in a little olive oil on medium heat until tender and lightly brown on the edges. Add cooked veggies, peanut halves and a splash of soy sauce to the tofu and toss together. Serve in a cup of lettuce and top with crumbled peanuts.

{Now feast!}

Monday, October 22

guest post: nine reasons puffy vests are the best

Since we all know my solo photo attempts are well below average, I asked one of my favorite bloggers, Kelsey, from Time Stand Still to take over my blog while I'm home visiting the family in the Bay Area (food, bar and shopping suggestions in the city are greatly appreciated) because her outfit posts kinda rule. And she could definitely be a model, don't ya think? Read on to find out Kelsey's nine reasons why puffy vests are the best this fall and be sure to check out her awesome blog!

Hi Beauty and the Feast readers! My name is Kelsey and I blog over at Time Stand Still. I’m so happy to be here today to ramble about one of my favorite fall clothing items.

Although the male species may never understand, vests are where it’s at. If you were to ask me what my favorite item of fall or winter clothing is it would take me nanoseconds to respond with,“PUFFY VESTS!” Boys might be thinking “why is that girl wearing an item of clothing that makes her look like the Michelin Man?” but I find the little man entertaining, so this only adds to my vest obsession.

Without further adieu here are some reasons why you should invest (pun intended) in one:

1. Your arms aren’t constricted so you can get a little bit athletic… if you must. 2. You can hide cheap snacks in it when you go to the movies.
3. In a neutral color, it will match just about anything.
4. You can wear the really snazzy kind from day to night.
5. It will protect your vital organs from the cold (sorry elbows,  you’re on your own).
6. If you were for some reason wearing a bulletproof vest, it would allow you to stay incognito while doing so.
7. You can wear it in the fall, winter AND spring.
8. Martha Stewart wears them and if she isn’t a style icon then I don’t know who is! ;)
9. Guys really, really dig them. You’ll probably get five marriage proposals each time you wear a puffy vest. Especially since the really huge ones look like sleeping bags.

{I hope that you all enjoy this beautiful vest wearing season and that you’ll stop by my blog and say hello! Thanks again to Allie for having me!}

Wednesday, October 17

fancy schmancy salads

cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil,
rosemary, feta, almonds, basil, spinach, balsamic vinegar

First, slow roast cherry tomatoes, rosemary, garlic and olive oil on 275 degrees for about two hours. Remove from oven and set aside. Then, broil sliced almonds on high until golden brown [just a few minutes]. Add almonds and feta cheese to the spinach, throw in a few basil leaves and top with a heaping helping of roasted tomatoes and drizzle a good balsamic on top and there you have it! Another simple and healthy salad. Recipe by Lauren Millslagle 

{If you have any salad inspiration for me, leave a comment! I'm kind of loving this new feature!}

Tuesday, October 16

branching out: home decor edition

Lately, my sista from another mista, Lori and I have been in room decorating-mode. She just moved into a new place and is working on making it her own and I've been wanting to mature my room a bit... while still keeping a good amount of my notorious eclectic clutter. Here's how we each utilized some awesome branches found in the park near our neighborhood in different ways, showcasing our very different personalities:

My branch serves as a headboard of sorts... I'm working on making my room/bed
a little more romantic and relaxing if you can't tell...

...and Lori's is a lamp! Also, how cute is her pooch?

There's something about incorporating a natural element into your decor... ya just can't beat it! Also, do the pillows look familiar? Check out the tutorial here.

In other news, after trying and trying to master homemade marquee letters, I finally gave up and out of no where found a nice little [random] collection of letters spelling out one of my favorite words: nom. Obviously.

Monday, October 15

weekly digs: fall favorites

Here we are again on this glorious Monday! Head over to Tori's blog to see what she's digging this week. Personally, I'm loving Julie Ann Art's newest Halloween cards... especially this one tehehe. And you may recognize that awesome geometric necklace that was featured on several blogs (in particular, the ladies of the mountains' blogs) last week. 

beauty and the feast

Thursday, October 11

it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

north park, san diego at sunset

I kinda have a weird and sneaky feeling that I might not be in San Diego for too much longer... but it's nights like this walking around my truly unique neighborhood that make me never want to leave. Recently named America's 13th hippest neighborhood by Forbes (I think all of us North Parkians are still  unsure how to feel about this), North Park really is a special place. It's eclectic and you never know what you're going to get. There's a mix of the craziest and nicest homeless people you'll ever meet. There are friendly faces at the newspaper shop and neighborhood bars, always willing to lend an ear (or in my case, a chest) to complain or even cry about your problems (again, personal experience). There's some of the best cups of coffee (Roast Coach and C&T) that I've ever had and some of the best beer selections of any bar I've ever been to. Outsiders might comment, "I can't believe you live in that sketchy neighborhood!" or "don't you get nervous walking around alone?" to which I can't help but giggle. I never feel unsafe and I never feel threatened because for every person off their rocker wandering the streets alongside me, there's a kind stranger on the other side of the road eager and ready to become my new best friend.

And that is exactly why I love this place so much.

Wednesday, October 10

fancy schmancy salads

In an effort to get back into shape, Lori and I have started fancy salad nights to force ourselves to: a) eat more salads, b) expand our salad-making skills and c) rid our minds of salad's bad reputation. I think that salads often get a 'meh' rep because they almost always don't include enough treats. The lettuce or spinach or arugula is secondary for me... I'm always more interested in the veggies on top. This particular experiment came out well and was pretty easy to make. 

asparagus, avocado, cherry tomatoes,
onion, balsamic vinegar, goat cheese,
almonds, olive oil, garlic, butter lettuce, arugula

First, toast almonds by broiling them on high for just a few minutes. Then, in a separate pan, roast asparagus with olive oil and garlic on 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes or until soft. On the stove, heat balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of brown sugar with a heaping handful of diced onions and caramelize. Slice other raw veggies and throw it all in a bowl with butter lettuce and arugula and ta da! A feastly salad. 

Sunday, October 7

weekly digs: our first link up!

Starting this week, Tori and I decided to combine our features, Things I Dig and Eye Candy, to bring you this fabulous link up which we'll do on Mondays... Weekly Digs! Follow our blogs, link up below, grab the button and let's do some damage in the online shopping world.

This week, I'm especially diggin' number two which is from the shop of one of my sponsors. I'm obsessed.

Eye Candy

Friday, October 5

friday's letters

aj and allie [yes this is my best friend. how convenient are our names?]

Dear AJ, You're the cheese to my macaroni, the butter to my bread, the feast to my booze and my best friend for always and for life. Seeing you for just one weekend wasn't enough... not even a little. I can't wait until November until our beautiful foursome group of besties is reunited in your delightful hometown. Chicago had better prepare.

Dear New, Hotel-style Bed, You're coming along quite nicely and I'm pleased to say that I sewed... by hand... not one but two of your new decorative pillows. You make me feel like royalty and I just can't wait to take a million pictures of you and put 'em on my blog.


Dear Carey, You totally spoiled your bridesmaids by gifting us beautiful custom made earrings by Kendra Scott and comfy bathrobes. You know how I feel about bathrobes (basically they're my favorite outfit). I've worn one or both of these items everyday since the nuptials... too much?

Dear BlogWorld, This super talented woman was the photographer at Carey's wedding. Check out her food blog... the photos [and recipes] will blow you away. I'm also kind of obsessing over elephantine

Dear Body, We're on day two (round two) of running. You're doing well... keep it up. Or I might have to kill you. Just kidding.

Dear Steve Jobs, Lately, life hasn't made sense at all. But I think you put it well when you said, "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."

Thursday, October 4

the coolest people you'll ever meet [september round two]

Fall is my favorite season of all!!!!!!! I love the colors that are created in the streets and yards by the beautiful leaves. I love that I get to celebrate my 3rd wedding anniversary this fall, I love campfires, cool nights, and the lifting of humidity here in the south. There is nothing as sweet to me as the shifting of summer into fall and a warm cup of tea to keep my toasty warm on cool mornings.

I love everything about fall. The smells and colors.
And the cool nights and crunchy leaves.
All of it. It just feels refreshing and new.

We're Ben and Katie. We met in Montana, lived in Ukraine, South Korea, Russia and just moved to the US. We blog about photography, travel, thrifting, food, lomography cameras and things that we do as a couple. Our favorite things about fall are colorful leaves, mushrooms and pumpkins!

I live in San Francisco, so most of weather throughout the year is rather fall like. Yet I look forward to the official start of fall, because I feel like it gives me permission to bust out my packed away scarves and layers and hats, and start wearing boots and coming home and making something warm and loaded with carbs and sugar and snuggling on the couch (because doing that in July just feels plain wrong!). But more than anything, I love the way the city feels. The energy surrounding the anticipation of the holidays and the start of a new year is almost tangible, and it's wonderful. 

Aww fall! My favorite thing about it is that this year I was accepted in a Neurology lab to make a experiment. It's a huge thing for me practicing on something that I really love doing! Also, some say that summer has the most tasty and juicy fruits and vegetables, but I don't agree.  Fall have them, figs, pomegranates, broccoli, apples, cranberries, eggplants and the list is so long. And of course I could not forget fall's windy, sunny (or not ) days, I missed them so much! :)

I love fall! The colors, scents, decorations, food, Halloween (it's my favorite day of the year!), no more mosquito bites, etc. I just love everything about it! 

Wednesday, October 3

the coolest people you'll ever meet [september round one]

Who doesn't like discovering new blogs? I certainly do. So do yourself a favor and visit these amazing women who sponsored me in September. Read on to find out their favorite things about fall!
Not to sound like a lush, but I love the seasonal beer that comes with fall - pumpkin flavored! And as the weather starts to cool down, I love having friends over in the evenings for some of that delicious beer as we sit around the fire pit I have set up in the backyard. Oh, and I welcome the return of scarfs!*

{*Side Note: Nicole is one of my blogger-turned-real-life-friends and she is SERIOUSLY the coolest and nicest gal around. One look at her blog and you'll want to be her friend. Meet her in person and... well... 
you'll want to be her best friend.}
My favorite things about fall - EVERYTHING :) But really, I love the changing colors, the brisk whether that begins to have a hint of winter, but not full-on cold, and the foods of fall (pumpkins, apples, squash, spices).
Fall is my Spring. As a teacher, everything new has always begun in the Fall. It's my chance to start again. And I adore a good pair of boots.
blog /facebook /twitter
My favorite thing about fall is the scenery change. I love seeing the leaves turn warmer colors, the pile of bright yellow or red leaves on the ground, it's all so beautiful! But I also love when I get to live in my leggings, drink hot chocolate and wear oversized sweaters. Fall is fun!

Honestly, I'm not a very big fan of Fall. I'd rather it be warm all year round. But, here in Michigan it gets far too cold for me. The only things I really enjoy about fall are Cider Mills, pumpkin flavored everything, having fires, haunted hayrides and scary movies.

Monday, October 1

on thoughtfulness

keystone, colorado

Recently, some fellow single friends and I were having a conversation about dating: "what quality, one quality, must a person have for you to want to date them?" and we went around saying what was important to us. I found myself beginning with "a good sense of humor" and then escalating to how the person "can't take life or themselves too seriously." I continued to rattle on, mentioning qualities ranging from "bearded and manly" to "sensitive and understanding" to "interested in an art of some kind - hopefully cooking." But really, what I realized, is that at the end of the day, the only quality that I want is thoughtfulness. It goes a long way and is, in my opinion, highly underrated.

I once dated probably the most thoughtless human being on the planet. Though many of his qualities were exactly what I was looking for, his thoughtlessness completely broke me and I found myself teary-eyed, wondering where I went wrong when really it wasn't me who did anything wrong; it was him who did nothing at all.

In my mere 24 years of life, I know that there's no such thing as the perfect person. But there is such thing as finding a perfect person for you: when that person's imperfections become obsolete and when their faults are the reason you love them so much in the first place. It's when you find someone that makes you feel complete, even when you thought you were already complete on your own. Those qualities, or rather feelings, those define a relationship and the one I'd like to have someday.

I went to the most beautiful wedding this weekend and stood by my friend's side as she vowed to love and cherish her [now] husband forever. I think I cried a little bit more than the rest of the group, but it was the proof and reassurance that I've needed for so long... that this love, the love I write about all the time and the love I'm looking to find, is not only attainable and real but present in my life.