Grease is the word, is the word, is the word | WEARABLES

posted on: January 26, 2015

I may not be wearing a pink ladies jacket, and I’d probably need a shorter skirt to properly emulate Rizzo on any given Saturday night at the drive-in, but I sure do feel like I could start singing some “We go together, like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong” on my way to coffee in this bomber jacket and these shades.


Normally I try to wear a lot of color – neon scarves, pastel tees, grey sweaters with bright turquoise earrings – but sometimes you just need to pull together a black on black on black (on leopard) outfit and know that everything lines up. No muss, no fuss, black always matches.

Or, sometimes, you just want to look like you’re too cool for school on your way to get a coke at the malt shop with Frenchie and the gang.

ps – Have you seen Grease 2? Michelle Pfeiffer’s look is on point!


jacket | everlane men’s lightweight bomber jacket
j’aime montréal tee | montréal gift shop
black jeans | bdg from urban outfitters
boots | all black brand from anthropologie
bag | kate spade pre-2010, similar
shades | ray ban, similar
bangles | old navy


*photos by the lovely Rachel Fischbein – find her at her website or on Twitter!

Snow bunnies in Truckee

posted on: January 23, 2015

You should all just prepare yourselves now for the onslaught of adorable, wintry pictures.

Jess (pictured below) and her beau Peter (also pictured below – because I posted like 35 photos) arranged for a group of us to congregate in an amazing Truckee cabin for the long weekend. It was like the Thunderdome of friendship getaways — “Twelve individuals entered, and best friends exited!”

Alright, so maybe it wasn’t exactly like that, but we all got along fantastically, and it was really fun to meet some new friends in a fun, different setting! Can I seem any cheerier about it! It’s authentic, I tell ya.

I didn’t take many pictures of the house (I was too busy marveling, cooking, and then relaxing in the hot tub) but take a gander over here if you need to visualize my weekend more clearly…


I’ll admit, I wasn’t going up to the snow to ski. I brought jeans, thick socks, and a somewhat on-the-nose sweater purchased from J.Crew’s Black Friday sale on a whim — these are not skiing materials! But Saturday morning (we all drove up Friday evening), I got enticed by everyone else’s excitement and figured I’d give it a whirl.

Which, of course, means lots of selfies on the slopes and scenic views.

 (Me, Jess)

 (Amanda, Jess, me)

We decided to go to Sugarbowl because it had the highest altitude plus fake snow, or something. Whatever the reasoning, it worked – the location was perfect. We were staying near Donner Lake, so Sugarbowl was only a fifteen or twenty minute ride from our house, and we passed by this gorgeous lakefront view on our way there and back.

The “higher altitude” meant that we had a breathtaking look at the entire mountainous land. It’s so hard for photos to show how truly gorgeous the Tahoe area is when it’s covered in snow…

I only fell twice! The first time was getting off the first chairlift (note to self: lean forward, not back) and the second time was after several runs and a Bloody Mary at lunch (don’t worry mom, we had plenty of conversations about not ending up like Sonny Bono!) which I think meant my legs had simply had enough for the day.

(They definitely are still a little worse for the wear, but are holding up reasonably well considering I wore jeans with little zippers on the sides that managed to dig into my skin the whole time and leave me with odd shaped blisters on my ankles. Gross, right? Hey, this is real life! We don’t hold back on madeleine|blogs!)

 (Amanda, Jess)

I have to say, Jess, Peter, and Flo (and Bryan at one point) were all so nice and made sure not to lose track of me even though I was clearly the slowest skier. I think by the end I was holding my own pretty well, but I also totally understood when I pooped out and they weren’t ready to call it quits yet! I’m lucky to have such considerate friends so I tried to do the same and not completely hold them back.

It was a fantastic day, and I’m so glad I went skiing with everyone, but I was more than ready to turn in my skis and poles at the end of the day and head back to the idea of a comfortable, warm house in the woods full of cocoa and whiskey provisions. Peter was nice enough to stop for us on the way back so we could take a picture in front of Donner Lake (all the way down there…)

When we got back to the house, it was time for Hot Toddies, a push-button fireplace, and about three pounds of pesto pasta! We had all arranged cooking duties on a massive spreadsheet, and while we had tons of food leftover at the end of the weekend, at least the meals went smoothly and everyone was satisfied.

To make these Hot Toddies (my favorite drink, Churchill has great ones) just mix 2oz whiskey, 4oz (or more) hot water, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and about a tablespoon of honey. You can add cloves or cinnamon to really kick it up a notch!

I may have also squeezed in (har har) some knitting time. Standard.


Sunday morning, we decided to make a leisurely breakfast (does anyone notice that eggs cook differently at higher altitudes?) and everyone split up for the day’s activities. A few of us decided to go investigate the town of Truckee, and we found a little bit of real Americana there.

No, literally – we had lunch at a place called Bar of America with a gigantic eagle emblem, where everyone was watching the Colts vs. Packers game. That’s pretty darn American.


Look at those mountains in the background!

IMG_2160(Peter, Jess)

After lunch we said goodbye to one of our party and continued on with our afternoon… Which, per Bryan’s wishes, involved hiking up this ridiculously rocky, snowy, hill (mountain? mini-mountain?) to see some abandoned train tracks that were now filled with ice waterfalls and graffiti.

Yeah, alright, it was pretty cool!

There were tons of these frozen waterfalls lining the walls, and the ground had almost completely frozen over in some places. Luckily there were some rocky areas that we could walk on so we weren’t slipping all over the place.

We popped out through one of the train tunnel breaks, and that’s when the real photography began – I mean, who could bear to take less than fifty shots of these amazing views? It was literally breath-taking.

Or maybe that was just the slight fear of falling off a mountain. That could have had something to do with our increased oxygen intake.

 (Jess, Peter)

Of course I had to take many pictures…of myself.


Cmon! I’m hilarious!

DSC_8013(Bryan, Peter, Jess, me)

Thankfully Bryan had a tripod for his camera so we could all take this shot! Success!

Then, we had to head back down the “hill” without falling in the snow or breaking any bones…

 (“Accio Adventure”!)

On the way back, we stopped by the lake to take pictures of this fallen tree and the stunning contrast between the rushing water and the far-off mountains.

Then, it turned into pictures of the girls. Because, obviously.


Since it was our last night, we all immediately started the fire and hopped into the hot tub (with champagne, bien sûr!) while waiting for the others to arrive.


We ate a delicious dinner of homemade pizzas, and watched Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which I’d never seen!) and the first 3/4 of the movie Hitch. Why only the first 3/4? Because we had more important things to do!

…like slow shutter speed sparkler pictures!

I was the H.


The next morning was full of cleaning and last minute packing. Some were headed off to do a hike, others had driven home the night before, and we all still had to split up the remaining food and alcohol we had leftover. There was a lot. I’m currently working my way through a quart-sized ziploc baggie of pasta – but hey, I’m not complaining.

I rode back with Jess, Peter, and Peter’s roommate Flo – which meant we were all in agreement about taking a few last shots around Donner Lake.

I really can’t emphasize enough how beautiful this weekend was. All I can try to do is show it.

On our way back, we stopped at Ikeda’s market…along with every single other person who had been in Tahoe that weekend. This place was hoppin, and that’s how you know it’s good! We got pie and burgers and there may have been a curly fry or two in sight… I think overall our lunch that day took at least 45 minutes but it was worth every lip-smacking minute.

  Another detour to Starbucks and a couple of wrong turns on the interlocking freeway system, and we were headed home. Exhausted, fighting off the same cold that’s been going around the Bay this week, and possibly even a little sick of hot cocoa (is that even possible?) – but altogether satisfied by the weekend and ready to go back sometime soon.

(Or at least, I am!)


What did you do for the long weekend? 


posted on: January 12, 2015

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t really know if I would ever do a workout outfit post. Who wants to be seen on the internet forever and ever wearing spandex and a shlubby sweatshirt? Well, this very day, I have recanted this thought process – it’s possible to look slightly cuter (just slightly) while wearing workout-able clothing.

Pro tip: this is easiest when your workout is yoga.


I used to do The Yoga in college, a bit in law school at my family’s YMCA (I even dragged my mother a few times), and in San Francisco with a friend (shout out to Lauren!) until she moved away from the city. Then, all motivation to go to a class by myself waned…and eventually dissipated completely as my schedule filled up with dinners, blogging, regular work, and the occasional sleep cycle.

Luckily for me, my roommate has gotten big into a yoga studio near our apartment and has inspired me to go to a couple of classes with her. This outfit post is super duper authentic because the pictures were taken post-workout…hence the sunglasses. Also. “they’re just like, totally cute, amirite?”

On a serious note, I’ve been having conversations lately with multiple friends about making time for the things in life that are important to you, and not feeling guilty about that. I think a lot of us feel that spending time solely on things for ourselves is somehow more selfish than when we do things that involve others. Saying that I can’t go to dinner with friends because I’m saving money, or trying to finish up an ESD order, or that I’d rather go to a yoga class that night somehow feels like an inadequate excuse, like I need a better reason to decline an invitation than just saying, “I want to do something that is for my own growth as a person.”

Well, I’m going to try to turn down that voice a smidgen in 2015, and remember that doing things for myself and cultivating that relationship with my inner human is just as important as cultivating my relationships with others. I may be the only one who has problems saying no to invitations, and if so, I congratulate you all on your personal fortitude. I’m still working on mine!



yoga pants | Dear Kate capri pants (purple stitching from Kickstarter campaign)
sweatshirt | An Li heart sweatshirt
sneakers | Keds Crashback leather slip ons (on sale!)
bag | Natalie shoulder bag by Ellington Handbags
headphones | Ear Buddies
sunglasses | Dusen Dusen for Of a Kind (on sale!)

Double-Layer Cranberry Ginger Upside-Down Cake | FORK IT OVER

posted on: January 8, 2015

Bloggees, you don’t even understand how proud I am of this friggin cake. I love cranberries, I love ginger, I love cake! This Food52 recipe hit my inbox and I immediately wanted to make it for the holidays. Luckily for me, New Year’s Eve is, in fact, a holiday – so I decided that my friend Sasha’s NYE potluck would be the perfect time for a cake debut.


Let me warn you though, this cake has approximately 13,000 steps. That’s just a ballpark estimate, give or take a hundred moves.

Oh, and let me warn you also that I mixed up a couple of the steps here. It still turned out okay! I think for the most part the end result just had a bit more sugar in it than intended (I used candied ginger where I was supposed to use regular ginger, and used brown sugar and white sugar where I was just supposed to use white sugar), but I didn’t hear any complaints from the peanut gallery (read: the people I practically force fed at the potluck.)

I’ll try to note what I did and what the proper instructions were and you can go either way on it – like a choose your own adventure cake!

So, come on in! Join me on this journey, through the Candy Cane Forest, all the way to the Gum Drop Mountain! Or, to you know, bake your own cake.  Read More

Mustard, Stripes, and Leaves | WEARABLES

posted on: January 5, 2015

Could this background be any more gorgeous? I’d like to say that I meticulously researched and tracked down a stunningly perfect locale for this fall outfit shoot, but really I just got lucky enough to have relatives who live somewhere so nature-y and colorful. Also, this wasn’t really a full, independent shoot; more like me making my mother take pictures of my Thanksgiving outfit during a five minute break from our family’s festivities.

Hey, work with what you’ve got, amirite?


This was approximately ten minutes after I participated in the consumption of one of the best cheese platters I’ve seen this side of Wisconsin, and about ten minutes prior to more cheese ingestion. That, and wine on the patio, with the dogs making friends with each other, and babies (ok just one baby) exploring the world, and copious paparrazzi-ing of said baby.

It was a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday – food, family, and cheese. Exactly what the original Thanksgivers had intended, I’m sure!

Oh yeah, and as to the fashion — I’ve worn some combination of dark colored dress, warm-toned cardigan, and neutral boots for the past three Thanksgivings. I think it’s becoming a tradition! Want to take bets on what I wear next year? I have a forest green cardigan I’ve been meaning to take out for a spin… it’ll go great over my grey dress, and possibly paired with my camel colored knee high boots.

See you guys here next year – same time, same place, probably same fashion. Them’s the Thanksgiving breaks.


sweater | j.crew (similar)
dress | madewell (similar)
boots | corso como (similar)
purse | linea pelle dylan bag
necklace | lina noel

Goodbye, 2014 – hello New Year!

posted on: January 4, 2015

Happy New Year, Bloggees!

Apologies that this post has come so late in the new year, but the holidays have brought with them a flurry of fun, a tizzy of tasks, an array of activities. Your girl’s been busy!

However, it would be against the Code of Bloggers for me to skip a New Year’s post, and I don’t want to let anyone down. My NYE was a hilarious mix of my usual activities – a fantastic potluck with friends, coupled with another friend’s party, and rounded out by your’s truly going home just at the stroke of midnight. They say that what you do at midnight on New Year’s Eve foreshadows your upcoming year – does this mean I’ll be doing lots of gabbing, lots of cooking, and end every night watching TV in my room? Sounds about right.

I spent five hours (yes, five – I was trying to be precise!) baking Food 52’s Double Layer Cranberry Ginger Upside Down Cake for Sasha’s potluck. Let me tell you, every minute of that time was worth it. Maybe for my birthday I’ll request circular cake pans – everyone is getting cakes! You get a cake, and you get a cake! We all get cakes!

Anyway, it was delicious, and fun. And I love cranberries.

I even made real whipped cream, with a real hand mixer! The hat says Happy New Year on it, I swear – I’m not just trying to go into the hipster light. Although, it does make me look jaunty, doesn’t it?

Here’s a preview of the finished product – don’t worry! I’ll be putting the full recipe on the blog this week. And, while there are many many steps involved in making this macrocarpon masterpiece, they’re easy steps once you read the instructions accurately. I may have switched a couple of my ingredients in some of the steps but it all turned out just fine, and I’m woman enough to admit it.

So, anyway, stay tuned for that recipe.

Then I headed over to another part of the city to party with Valerie and her boyfriend. “Party” in this case meant more champagne and more hats! And, of course, pictures. Like the fuddy duddy I am though, I decided to head home early so as to miss the cab-calling rush right after midnight — and I got home just at 11:58pm.

UntitledThe thing I love about NYE though isn’t the parties, or the champagne, or even the cakes – it’s the sense of renewed possibility, of undiscovered potential, of starting over fresh. While I wish we all had those feelings of hope each day of our lives, there’s something about a big change (like New Year’s) to really solidify that sentiment, and it makes it easier to admit you want new things for that upcoming year. Somehow it feels silly to admit that you want to make changes, that you have aspirations, and want to work towards them.

So, while I shall try to approach each day of 2015 as if it has potential and hope and possibility, I have a few specific resolutions I’m going to try to keep in mind:


2015 Resolutions & Goals

1. Cut out added sugar for at least one month

(January, in case that wasn’t clear.)

I’m not going to drive myself nuts about this (there’s probably sugar in processed bread, for example) but I’m cutting out sodas, sweets, candy, pastries, sugary coffee drinks, etc. These are all off-limits, and rightfully so! I never used to have a sweet tooth but lately sugar has been off the charts addictive for me. I need a reboot.

2. Do a Spending Fast for at least one month

If you haven’t heard of Anna Newell Jones’s Spending Fast, then go check out her site right now. I have long been a fan of her practicality with regards to finances – I am easily sucked in to buying things I don’t need, sometimes before I’ve even used up whatever item the new product is meant to be replacing. I have way too much stuff, and lately I’ve been acquiring more of it, and I need to STOP THE MADNESS. I plan on doing this by creating a fixed list of needs, and only buying things on that list for the next month. If I can, I’ll try to extend it to two months, and so on. I may not be as restrictive as she is (I’m still going to Tahoe for a weekend with friends, and I’m still allowing myself to buy coffee 2x a week) but it’ll be a great refresh for my bank account!

3. Get earthquake state in at least 3 stores this year

While, yes, I admit, I’m still learning to manage running a blog, a shop, and a full-time job, I want to grow my side business as much as I can without going completely insane. As of right now, ESD is sold in two stores in SF (Local Take and Amour Vert), and I would love to put my wares in at least one more store before 2015 is over!

4. Run at least two half-marathons

I need to get back in shape, and it’s so much easier to do that when the prospect of trudging along a 13.1 mile course is looming in front of you. I’ve done the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon for four years starting my second year of law school, but this past fall, my friends and I didn’t get in through the lottery system. In lieu of spending a couple thousand dollars with Team in Training (I think it’s an amazing organization and cause, but I just can’t commit to trying to fundraise), I need to branch out and sign up for other, less “popular” races, and do it for the experience of running and not necessarily for the perks at the finish line. I’ve already signed up for the SF Marathon, and if I don’t get in to the NWM this year then I’ll keep browsing other events! Do you have any favorites I should check out?

5. Read at least one non-book club book a month

I’ve been pretty good about finishing my books in time for my book club’s monthly meetings, but I’m also a pretty fast reader – I definitely have time to read more if I set my mind to it, and I have a reading list that is definitely up for that challenge. I want to try to read at least two books a month, and one of them not just because I fear the wrath of my book club if I don’t finish it. Har har.

6. I want to travel to another country this year. 

I have no reason to think this will be possible fiscally or temporally, but I’m going to try my best to make it happen.


I hope you all had a wonderful (and safe) New Year’s! Do you have any specific resolutions you’ve made this year? Feel free to share in the comments – I love hearing what goals people are trying to meet each year!

Oh Christmas Tree | WEARABLES

posted on: December 26, 2014

Hello all! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and got to spend time with loved ones, fur babies, and lots of good food. I know my day spent knitting, cooking breakfast (to make an appearance here soon, I hope), and watching my brother and stepdad play chess while movies ran in the background was just as cheery and comforting as I’d hoped it would be! Not to mention our ever-snuggling pooches. There’s just something about having an animal in the house. You should thank your lucky stars I don’t instagram them far more than I already do…

This year, our Christmas schedule was a little later than usual – we didn’t pick out a tree until the 21st, and didn’t decorate it until Christmas Eve. I know! I know. But it got done, and now we have it all to enjoy the wintery season through the New Year’s celebrations.

These shots are from our family’s Christmas tree outing. Please forgive some of the blurrier ones – my friends and I tweaked the camera’s settings to take some fun long-exposure shots of sparklers (I’ll post those this week!) and I’d forgotten to set them back. I still need to do some work on it.

DSC_7078This was a 60-something degree day, by the way. One of the Christmas tree lot guys was wearing shorts and a tee, and I roll up in my huge beanie and boots. Oh well – sometimes you have to suffer for fashion, right? And that suffering means air conditioning in the car and iced coffee on your way home. Har har.


Hope your holiday celebrations were merry and bright!


grey moto jeans by gap
pom beanie by earthquake state
dylan bag by linea pelle
hood jacket by sheinside
rena boot by corso como
love necklace by julia szendrei

Fork it Over: Brussels Pesto Sausage Pasta

posted on: December 12, 2014

Congratulations to Maddie C., winner of the Pineapple tote, notebook, and notecards from Mi + Ed Design! Please email me at madeleine dot douglass at gmail dot com (or leave a comment below with your email) to let me know where to send your winnings.

And thank you to all who entered!


I’m pretty sure when I signed the contract starting this blog, I promised to always be honest with you, my fair (three or four) readers! I continuously strive to live up to this lofty goal, which is sometimes difficult for me — as you may know, I frequently keep things to myself and have a hard time opening up about my thoughts and feelings and complaints.

(Yeah, right! That’s me. The under-sharer.)


Anyway, I still try to be honest, while projecting the best possible view of my life. This is the internet after all! All of this is to say, I apologize for the less-than-stellar food photography in this post…but this is real life, and sometimes I get home after work at 7pm and just want to make something easy and comforting.

I figured, you might be the same way! Presenting: Brussel-Pesto-Sausage-Pasta. Click the link to get the full recipe in the rest of this post! Read More

GIVEAWAY | The Pineapple Incident

posted on: December 5, 2014

As some of you may have heard, I went to Hawaii recently! If you hadn’t heard this, well, then you aren’t following me on Instagram, and this announcement is doubly useful.

Anyway. I went to Oahu! I spent five glorious days visiting my friends Stefanie and Leon (who graciously hosted us) with my friend Sheryl – going to the beach was a major component of our itinerary, but we also tried to do a few activities here and there. You’ll learn more about those later (next week, mayhaps?), but today’s post is about a fruit that has taken the internet by storm!

No, not the cherry. Not the strawberry. Not even the infamous avocado.


the Pineapple!

Did you know the pineapple is considered to be a symbol of hospitality and welcoming? I learned this on the interwebs, but it also explains why the spiky little devil has had such a resurgence of late on home goods. Stationery, tea towels, dishware – nothing is safe from the Ananus comosus! There was even a long standing joke on one of my favorite shows (How I Met Your Mother) about a pineapple mysteriously ending up on Ted’s bedside stand.

I may have brought back pineapple coasters from our tour of the Dole Plantation. Maybe.

Now that we’ve all learned a bit about this syrupy sweet snack, why have I introduced this flirty fruit? Because I have fallen under its spell, and as such, have procured a pineapple party pack from my favorite Etsy printmaker to give to one of you lucky readers!


Translation? “I’m like, so super duper into the pineapple craze right now, so I like, bought some things from this store that I like, and I’m going to give them away to one of you guys! Like, totally.”

I sometimes slip into this valley girl voice that scares my roommate? I don’t know. Moving on.


Mirta from mi + ed design is one of the sweetest AND most talented makers I’ve ever had the pleasure to internet-meet. Her shop is not only aesthetically beautiful, but everything is made with her own two hands! As a maker, I know how hard this is. She creates all her own original prints and designs inspired by natural objects, and uses the most eco-friendly materials she can find.

Basically, she makes gorgeous prints and cards, does it all herself, and tries to help the planet in the process. Who wouldn’t want to support that? She has some amazing winter themed prints in her shop right now, too.

One lucky reader will get this fun little hospitality package – a cotton tote, a printed journal, and a set of small notecards – all mi + ed design originals. Enter below in the Rafflecopter widget, and a winner will be announced next Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, yes, in case anyone is wondering – you will see lots more ridiculous Maddy pictures in future Hawaii posts. Don’t worry!

Fork it Over: Lentil-Feta-Bruschetta dip

posted on: December 2, 2014

Are you guys ready for the easiest potluck recipe you’ll ever find in your life? It involves the following steps:

1. Purchase ingredients.
2. Stir.

…If you can’t handle that, then I just don’t know how to help you.


This lentil-bruschetta-feta dip is one of those dishes that sounds so odd, and yet works so well! The lentils add a bit of depth and heft, similar to a cheesy dip, but without making you feel weighed down afterwards. The bruschetta flavors the overall dish and adds a bit of freshness to the mix, while the feta just adds… well, feta. I don’t know, I tried. It just tastes good, I’m not sure I can describe why. I normally don’t even like feta!

Here’s what you’ll need:

- 1 packet Trader Joe’s ready to eat Lentils
– 1 bucket or jar of Bruschetta (I prefer the bucket with the smaller chunks of tomato but this is what my mother purchased at the store for me.)
– 1 bucket feta cheese crumbles

Mix and consume with pita chips or crackers of your choice.

IMG_1518You’re welcome!

This recipe was imparted upon me by a friend of a my friend’s boyfriend, and I am so glad she attended the USC vs. UCLA game watching party so she could teach me how to…stir things together. I made it as my Thanksgiving appetizer contribution and it was a success with the relatives! They’re so nice, they would probably eat rocks if I served them to them (and then only tease me a little bit about needing more salt), but I’m choosing to believe they genuinely thought these flavors worked together.

It’s always nice to have that one recipe you probably wouldn’t have thought of yourself, that is also incredibly easy to make, and easy to bring to any gathering, so here you are!

And hey, if you want to pretend you made it up, I won’t squeal on you.