Five Quick Christmas Snaps

Frank Lloyd Wright's

Maltipoo puppy

Gangam Style socks

DIY Wrapping Paper Bow

Christmas lights in Levi Plaza

It’s pretty amazing that Christmas is less than a day away now. This December has truly flown by, despite my best attempts to draw it out by watching every Christmas movie ever created and indulging in every holiday treat ever created (times ten for brie). I’m sad to see it go, but I know it’ll be back again before I know it, much like Frosty the Snowman. Keep the faith!

one.  This is what happens when you take a gingerbread house competition very, very seriously. Google “Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water” and you’ll see what I mean. And yes, those are indeed Swedish Fish jumping out of the frosting waterfall.

two.  I’m not sure about you, but I never get tired of pictures of puppies. Never.

three.  It’s official; Psy is everywhere, even on your feet. I will add a disclamer that these are not my socks. You know how I love shorts and tights together more than anyone? Apparently some feel that way about Gangam Style.

four.  I was patting myself on the back for remembering to buy wrapping paper before it sold out, but then I realized that I neglected to buy bows. I had to improvise with this little bow made from strips of leftover wrapping paper. I tell ya, every time I feel like a real grownup…

five.  These trees are a serious ten on my Christmas light rating scale. Well done, Levi Plaza. Well done.

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Five Quick Snaps

#merryandbright- Surprise outdoor decorations in the marina.

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Essential information for the #hipster #man.

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Joy.

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Man and dog. #instamood #picoftheday #puppy #pitbull

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My favorite Christmas-lit house in Pacific Heights.

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I get quite sentimental around the holidays, devouring sappy Christmas movies like they’re going out of style. I love stories about how the holidays bring families together, regardless of distance. I’ve always spent Christmas with my family, and this is the first year that we’ll be separated by thousands of miles.

This summer, my father underwent a life-threatening surgery that challenged our family but also drew us closer. Time truly seemed to slow down as I sat with my mom in the hospital in suburban Minnesota, waiting for my dad to heal. While I sat on the uncomfortable vinyl chair wrapped in a thin hospital blanket, I thought of my favorite Christmas memories with my dad as we drove slowly through the snow-covered streets and ruthlessly judged the Christmas lights on display. It’s tough to get a perfect ten, but when you do, you know you’ve earned a place in time.

My dad and I had the opportunity to weed through the early contenders when I flew back to see my family in mid-November, but the true contestants are now out in full force. Even though I won’t be in Minnesota this December 25th, I’m so grateful that the two of us can trade cell phone photos of our favorites (and the embarrassing attempts that fall short of our scrutinizing gaze). Here’s to being fortunate enough to uphold this tradition for another year.

one. On my way to a holiday party in the Marina, I stopped dead in my tracks when I caught sight of these little bulbs. A homeowner had put his or her faith in passerby by hanging beautiful, delicate ornaments on eye level with white twinkle lights.

two. Moustaches are truly taking off for the San Francisco set, and I couldn’t help passing on this essential guide on to a good friend and her misguided but adorable moustache-cultivating boyfriend.

three. My favorite Christmas tradition is seeing A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theater back in Minneapolis, and my mom gave me this beautiful keepsake edition last year. I’ve discovered that Charles Dickens’s writing style is actually pretty awesome!

four. This little capture of Jim and our good friend’s pitbull mix made my day!

five. My true perfect ten in holiday light land.

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Five Quick Snaps

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Photos taken with Sanfranista’s Instagram

Starting today, I’d like to take time weekly to share bits and pieces of the day-to-day beauty that I get to experience by living here. I rarely have my “real” camera with me, so all these snaps come through my iPhone while I’m traveling around San Francisco. I’m always partial to views of the skyline, but I also love to capture a beautiful storefront or small things I find along the way. What are the details you notice throughout your day?

Above, pastel buildings with a stripey awning steal my heart every time. I love the Fillmore Street area in Pacific Heights for its classic beauty and boutique-y charm. Below, I’m very rarely in the Potrero Hill area, but this view gives me reason enough to return.

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I can’t ever get used to the criss-crossed, spiderweb pattern of the electric bus cables. They’re always make me think of Terminator for some reason- am I the only one? Love it.

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Who said BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, for you out-of-towners) can’t be beautiful?

View to the west from Rockridge BART at sunset

If I had to choose a favorite nighttime neighborhood in the city, I’d probably grimace and adopt a martyred expression (“How could I ever choose?!?”), but this image would almost certainly pop into my mind. It’s one block  from a historic beat poet bar, Chinese food that will blow your mind, a super-swanky champagne lounge, and the best dive karaoke bar… ever.

North Beach at NightHave a beautiful weekend, everyone!

Listening: “Underwater” – Metric

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