skill exchange

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the Fire + Fish + Beer Summer Skill Exchange at Storefront Lab. If you’re not familiar with Skill Exchange, basically it’s the brainchild of designer and founder Kate Koeppel. It’s a workshop series designed to inspire the community “to use their hands and learn traditional, hand making and self-reliance skills in a fun, social setting,” This particular workshop was seriously mind blowing in the best possible way. Essentially, we learned all the skills needed to make an incredible summer spread.

skill exchange in SF
Here’s the menu of everything we ate.

We kicked off the day with a session led by Galen Garretson of the Town Cutler. He taught us the basics of how knives are made, how to sharpen knives, and how to best care for our knives.

summer squash pasta with green goddess dressingWhile this was going on, we were lucky enough to preview a recipe (summer squash pasta with Green Goddess dressing) from Kimberley Hasselbrink of The Year in Food. She’s got a new book coming out, titled Vibrant Food (pre-order here!). I got to sneak a peek and let me just say… this is a must buy.

skill exchange in SF // how to make kimchi
From there, we were led by Austin Durant of the Fermenters Club in how to make kimchi. I have to say, this guy seriously knows his stuff. And how awesome is his t-shirt??

skill exchange in SF
This next tutorial was my absolute favorite: we learned how to buy sustainably caught fish and then how to clean the fish.  I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I shucked my very first oyster during this section of the workshop. This one was taught by the incredibly knowledge Anna Barr Larsen from Siren Fish Co. She seriously knows her stuff. Plus, I love Siren because they offer a CSA, but with fish! If you’re in San Francisco, you should check it out here.

skill exchange in SF
We also learned the proper way to get a grill goin’, a skill that I’m sure will last me past this summer. Led by Edible San Francisco Magazine editor Bruce Cole, we learned how to make grilled little gem lettuces with creamy dressing, grilled king salmon with yuzo kosho crème fraiche, grilled sardines with parsley pesto, and grilled peaches with 25 year old balsamic vinegar. Is your mouth watering yet?

skill exchange in SF
skill exchange in SF
Lastly, we toasted the event with a delicious saison beer by HenHouse Brewing Company.

skill exchange in SF
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, I highly recommend checking out all of the coming workshops from Skill Exchange. It was a Saturday very well spent!

skill exchange in SF
photos by Jojotastic

instagram lately…

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know this: I just had the best weekend ever. It all started with a hike with a close friend on Muir Beach. Between scrambling down steep slopes and perching on cliff edges to gawk at the ocean, we had lots of girl talk time, aka the stuff that feeds your soul. Between time spent with a good friend and time spent exploring, I feel totally set for the upcoming week. Noodle tagged along and I was so proud of how well he kept up. He’s really proving to be a great adventure companion for me.

muir beach
muir beach
Sunday was a different story: I spent the day lounging in a park and then doing domestic things around the apartment. Like I said, I find that sort of thing grounding.
I made these strawberry scones for the week’s breakfasts using this recipe from Joy the Baker. You should definitely try out the recipe.

apartment progress //
I’ve also been making (slow) progress on getting the apartment settled. The rug isn’t back from getting cleaned yet, but here’s a sneak peek of my space. I converted a large walk-in closet to be my “bedroom” to save space. This means I actually have the space to dedicate to an office (more on that to come)! Can you tell that I am seriously in love with my apartment?

photos by Jojotastic on Instagram

meanwhile, in san francisco…

Guys, I’m in love. Not with a man, but with the city of San Francisco. My life here has totally turned around and it is just so, so good. Every weekend is bursting with great new things to do, people to see, and avocados to eat. Heck, even my weekday adventures in Sausalito after work have been pretty spectacular. It’s pretty safe to say that I am very happy about my move to San Francisco, so now that I’ve been here for two months, I feel like I can share a few of my favorite adventures.

Fort Funston in San Francisco
My first San Francisco pick is Fort Funston. I heard about this not-so-hidden spot via Victoria of SF Girl By Bay on Design*Sponge. Previously a military lookout point, this dog-friendly spot offers an easy hike, gorgeous beaches, and one of the best views of the Pacific I’ve ever seen. Noodle and I went for a Saturday romp and, let me tell you, I have never seen him more excited.

Twin Peaks in San Francisco
Another great spot that’s more commonly known is Twin Peaks. I went with Danielle and Wil of Danfredo Photography when they got here with my car (more on that here). If you want the ultimate view of the city, this is the place to go. It is absolutely breathtaking. Stay for sunset, but be sure to pack some warm layers because it gets very windy.

If you’re in the mood for vintage shopping, plan a try on the first Sunday of the month to hit up the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. Technically not in San Francisco, this treasure is absolutely worth the trip to Oakland, just be sure to get there early. In true hoarder spirit, I scored all kinds of goodies: a mid-century modern desk chair, 5 vintage dresses, stacks of books, and all sorts of sweet tchotchkes. Oh, and they have food trucks! Check out the taco truck and the mini donuts truck for sure.

sailing in San Francisco
I’ve had a few other random adventures, too. I went on an impromptu sailing trip with a coworker around the bay at sunset. Talk about amazing. It was one of those moments where I was just so overwhelmed by the beauty of the land and sea.

photos by Jojotastic — follow me on Instagram!


Every weekend that I spend here feels like I could write a tour guide for San Francisco. There’s just so much to explore that I don’t know if I’ll ever get my fill of this awesome city. This weekend, I spent a bit of time languishing in bed with Georgette, but more of my time was spent on foot checkin’ out my new surroundings. Some favorites: Yield Design Co, Lost Art Salon, and Voyager. Let’s just say that the weekends need to be even longer!

great colors gallery wall hi friend

photos by Jojotastic — follow me on Instagram!

i’m back, i swear

In case you didn’t know, moving is… intense. I’ve really been out of touch, especially thanks to a lack of internet, but now, I’m back! The apartment is slowly coming together and I’m really digging into work and my new social life here. Plus, I’m just really, really happy. I’ve been focusing my energy on experiencing this new city with wide eyes, soaking in all the sights and appreciating each unique moment. I feel so lucky to be here and I just want to enjoy everything. Yes, I’ve become that annoyingly happy person and it feels awesome.

image source: Fashion Gone Rogue


It’s been so long since I posted anything from my Instagram… probably because my life is changing so quickly and almost daily. I moved into my apartment officially on Saturday, so it’s been really awesome to be back in San Francisco proper with all of my friends and surrounded by incredible restaurants. I’m in Hayes Valley, which feels like the absolute perfect neighborhood. I’ve been having so many ‘pinch me’ moments, where I feel so incredibly lucky to be living here. It’s been a long time since I was this in love with my life and, I have to say, it feels great.

anchor tattoo
I decided to get one more tattoo by the amazing Mike Ski when I left Philadelphia. 

minimalist moving
Once again, I’ve moved into an apartment with the bare minimum. Don’t worry though, my stuff will come soon!

the golden gate
How lucky am I to cross this bridge every day to get to work?

Sausalito is just plain gorgeous.
photos by Jojotastic — follow me on Instagram!

moving to California, 1 week later…

Wow, can you believe the difference that a week can make? Within this past week, I have emptied my Philadelphia apartment, moved across the country, started a new job, and signed a lease. All in a matter of 7 days. Not gonna sugarcoat it, it’s been stressful. There were moments where I just wanted to hide under the covers. It’s hard to not have a ‘home’ and to be in this weird grey area of flux. Currently, I am living in a hotel in Corte Madera, so my commute to the office has been somewhat lengthy and very damp. That being said, on Saturday I went into San Francisco proper and began my apartment search where I stumbled upon a tiny gem of a studio. It’s got ‘me’ written all over it: vintage enameled bath tub, janky metal fire escape, and two walk in closets. (I didn’t have a single closet in Philly!) And the pièce de résistance, a newly remodeled kitchen with a full-sized gas stove! Bread production is going to resume in full swing once I move in.

So this experience has been really great. I’m taking the ups with the downs, all in stride. I’m so unbelievably happy to be here and back on the West Coast. I couldn’t feel better about the decision I made to come here and all of the adventures that I have yet to experience.

Photography by Greg Zulkie.