Category Archives: weekends

you eat & relish, now meet celia west!

CW logo 684x215 jan 2014

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It’s been awhile since I’ve alluded to another project I was working on….in fact, a quick search of my archives confirms it was way back in October. Of last year. And here we are, a healthy five months later, and I am finally – FINALLY! – ready to share it with you!

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(In my defense James and I have had a lot going on in these past five months, both personally and professionally, and as you well know by now we’re living in an entirely new town (hello, Santa Barbara! goodbye SF!) doing something that five months ago I would have thought was totally off the wall ((wearing overalls and farming avocados….or something like that)).  But I digress.)

marina on wood

I’ve started a jewelry line called Celia West, and I am delighted to (finally!) be able to share it with you. I’ve just launched my website at www.celiawest.com, and you can follow us on Instagram or like us on Facebook (and I’ll note doing both of these things would make me a very happy lady).  If you like jewelry, follow along! Otherwise, fear not – I’m still here cooking and baking and tinkering and making a general rumpus in the kitchen.

Thank you so much for your support, and for continuing to support me here on my little-ole-blog soapbox.  Your encouragement, kind words, and continual enthusiasm truly do mean the world to me!

a signoff

twentyfourteen – i think you’re great.

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“If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she’s late? Nobody.”  –Holden Caulfield

I’m late to the party here, which is unsurprising, seeing as I’ve been late (*cough*….never showed up) for most of late Fall and Winter’s major milestones. That Thanksgiving recipe roundup I mentally planned out? MIA. Any egg-nog-y or ginger-spiced recipes to jazz up your holiday table? Totally left you hanging. Some festive New Years pop*fizz*clink action?

You’re pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down.

But, I’ve got some excuses (don’t I always?!), and in the spirit of my New Year’s resolutions of only looking onward, moving upward, and thinking positively, I’m here now.  However, ‘here,’ for me anyway, has changed quite dramatically over the past few weeks.  If you’ve been around here for any time at all, you’ll know that my little family (one husband, one pug, and two black kitties because, yes, we are insane) has been happily settling into a relatively new life in San Francisco, and championing all of the lovely friends, spaces, and places that have made their way into our heads and hearts over the past 10 months.  Not a bad thing exists about San Francisco, in my mind; it fit(s) us like that cliche well-worn glove, and the tough things that normally come with a cross country move (awkward transitions) just did not exist.  But it’s funny how things – big things – can turn on a little slice of time the size of the proverbial dime, and as it seems to be the norm for us these past three years, we’re doing it again.  We’re moving.  We’re not moving because San Francisco is failing us in any way – because really, it’s been the most magnificent hostess.  We’re moving because in the whirlwind that was our December, an incredible opportunity to move to, live on, and manage a magnificent avocado ranch in Montecito, California has arisen, and after much enthusiastic conversation (and, quite honestly, very little debate), we’re graciously and thankfully taking the tall challenge head on and with gusto.  Another move!  To a small town of ten-thousand that sits nestled up right against it’s bigger sister, Santa Barbara, and to a place that I’ve fallen fast in love with, and already believe is one of the most beautiful in the country.  And this move will be the last one for a very, very, long time; this is, to date, the biggest decision we have ever made, personally and professionally, and the timing, for us, is ever so right.  We’re feeling very lucky and elated for a new adventure, while at the same time a bittersweet sadness to bid our Bay Area friends goodbye.  Grateful for the support from our incredibly kind and generous families, friends, and new opportunities doesn’t even begin to encompass our rosy outlook for this new year.  

2014, I’m so happy you’re here.  And I already think you’re a smashing success.  Brace yourself for some avocado recipes…..

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{sunrise at miramar beach}

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{home for a few weeks: our little beachside rental}

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{sunny central coastline}

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{avocado hillsides}

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{celebratory oystahs}

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{prepping christmas beef wellington}

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{beach supper: snapper with backyard lemons and grilled green onion}

 

 

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{santa barbara farmers markets: 7 days a week, year round!}

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{sea air makes me sleepy}

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{a new years cheers – with local brews}

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{january tomatoes that taste, literally, like august}

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{celfie}

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{kale salads everywhere in january}

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{such a fitting gift from my sister in law}

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{montecito sunshine}

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{“yous meanz we ken come to da beach every dayz?!”}

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{two, in blue}

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{like a boss.}

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{a man and his pug, soaking up the sunset}

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{the purple hour – my favorite}

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{lunch date! heirloom tomato bloody mary, kale caesar}

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{our wild saturday nights: fried calamari and sriracha aioli at home}

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{just when it starts to set}

bits of my weekend, according to instagram: april 29, 2013

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{first morning views: grapes, balloons, & fog}

One of the great things about San Francisco is that you can toss some clothes, some good friends, and perhaps a couple of baggo boards in the back of your car and be out of the city and somewhere entirely different in under an hour.  We happen to live really close to the 101, and hopping onto the highway and cruising over the Golden Gate takes minimal effort.  We celebrated James’ birthday on Thursday, but as we had one of our best friends coming in from LA for the weekend, we decided to extend those celebrations a bit, and head out to wine country for a day spent relaxing at the Coppola pool and an evening spent wine tasting and grilling at Calluna Vineyards.  We spent the day playing a few fierce rounds of bocce and eating pizza poolside, and were graciously hosted at Calluna by David and Marla, the owners of Calluna, who opened their kitchen and home to us for the evening.  We grilled flank steak, made sweet potato and sage gratin, and had a kale salad that had the best salty/sweet dressing – perfect accompaniments to the vineyard’s wines.  The city welcomed us back on Sunday with blue skies and perfect temperatures, and the ten day forecast we have in front of us is one of the best i think this city has ever seen.  This weekend will mark the first in nearly a month that we won’t have visitors, and I can’t wait to do absolutely nothing; it’s going to be perfect weather for evening walks to Chrissy Beach with the dog, and I’m looking forward to making some healthy meals at home and getting back on track with some morning workouts and hopefully a few yoga classes.

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{the roses are in full bloom in pacific heights}

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{birthday date night}

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{HBD!!}

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{nightcaps at the alembic}

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{a fuzzy #throwbackthursday: finding my dress at kleinfeld in NYC, april 2011}

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{spring inspired tips & (empty) cocktails at marengo}

{but wait! there’s more…}

bit of my weekend(s), according to instagram: april 15, 2013

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{cheeseburger + parmesan garlic fry heaven, at super duper}

(Have I told you yet how much I love it here?)

Because I really, really do.  It’s been five weeks since we’ve arrived and somehow I feel like I’ve been here forever, in the best sense of that word.  I don’t really feel like “the new girl,” partially owed to the fact that this city came pre-loaded to me with some seriously fantastic friends, and also in part to the commitment I’ve had on previous visits here to walk the entire city on foot, thereby getting a really good lay of the land.  I’ve even been stopped and asked for directions….and knew all the right answers! If you know me and my sense of direction at all, you’d know that’s really an accomplishment for the books.  We spend the weekend close to home, tying up some loose ends that needed tending to, and working on a few projects, with just the right amount of socializing sprinkled in, for good measure. I’ve been really bad about weekend recaps, so here is a mish/mash of what’s been going on around here over the past couple of weeks.

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{waiting patiently outside for a seat at burma superstar}

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{green tea // on the street}

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{lunch at home: flatbread with caponata and goat cheese}

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{cherry blossoms in full bloom, in the presidio}

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{tea decisions}

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{my favorite tofu spring roll, at bun mee}

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{bright colors and blue skies, in hayes valley}

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{electric slide}

{but wait, there’s more!}

life, lately: my 2013 so far, according to instagram

I’ve been not-so-great (read: absolutely terrible) about posting what used to be one of my favorite weekend rituals – the ‘bits of my weekend’ Instagram roundup. I guess some little things like quitting a job I really loved (sob!), packing up exactly eight-thousand-forty-nine boxes, and driving across country with a needy pug and ornery kitty got in the way, but I realized today I haven’t posted a life-lately recap at all in 2013.  And it’s March. So please excuse the photo-dump, but here is a little rather outsized glimpse of what I’ve been seeing around here, from my last days of being a Boulderite to my first days of being San Fran’s newest rabble-rouser.

(ps…you can follow me on Instagram here, if you are so inclined!)

a signoff

and so the story continues, to the west: san francisco

san francisco - we are moving and so excited!

{the city by the bay}

It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting at my laptop in the West Village, writing about ‘the biggest shakeup’ and our planned move West all the way from noisy New York City to big-sky Colorado. It was, in fact, not yesterday, but just over a year and a half ago now – nineteen months to be exact – that we made the decision to make a change (and a very big one at that).

Boulder holds an incredibly dear place in my heart; it is a wonderfully special little city that almost feels like another world in itself, at times feeling completely removed from the rest of the society.  In moving to this gorgeous space at the base of the Rocky Mountains, I have learned so much and experienced so many new things. I’ve been given the luxury of experiencing four fierce seasons every single year, and have discovered that when in Colorado, you can just as easily lay by the pool suntanning your legs in March as you can wake up to a thick blanket of snow and spend the day sipping cocoa and shoveling the driveway. (Well…watch James shovel, anyway.)

From our foothills home you can drive up twisted and gnarled mountain roads, and climb to peaks where the already thin air is even thinner, crisper, and more pure. Things just look different from a mile high vantage point above the rest of the country, and I can’t tell you how how much I’ve appreciated the Colorado way of life.  There is a grounded sensibility that comes along with living here, and the “get outside and do something” mentality has kept us on our feet, skiing, hiking, biking, exploring, and challenging ourselves. I’ve strapped Chacos to my feet more often than I’ve slipped on a pair of heels, and in many ways any wound-up tendencies I may have had encompassing my outlook on life have relaxed, slackened, and dissolved in the best way possible.

It’s been a terribly fun and rewarding stretch of time, and one that I wouldn’t trade for absolutely anything – but nevertheless I’ve got yet another announcement about yet another very big shakeup.  In just two short, short weeks, James and I are packing up our bags…and moving to San Francisco! I will miss so very many things about Boulder, and about Colorado, but most of all, I will miss the people.  Colorado breeds some of the best that I have met to date, and I’ve made some incredible new friendships and built even stronger relationships with old friends that will without a doubt stand as some of my tightest, forever.  Above and outside of all of the wonderful ways this move has shaped our lives, the wonderful people have certainly impacted us the most.

Our move has nothing to do with not wanting to be where we are at, but more that right now, I think it’s the right place for us to be. I’ve always had this slightly Nomadic sense about me, and though I’ll admit that nineteen-months ago it did take a lot for me to get comfortable with the the idea of life out of the city, confronting those fears and totally overcoming them has made me a much better person today.  Life in San Francisco will not be life in New York; it will certainly not be life in Boulder, and it will not be like life anywhere I’ve experienced before. It will come with it’s own set of challenges and dilemmas and unavoidable negatives, and it will take a lot of adjustments on our part….but I can’t tell you how excited I am for what life in the “City by the Bay” will hold for us. Our living room is already filled with boxes, and that’s sad – I can’t help but feel misty-eyed when I think of all of the amazing people and experiences we are leaving behind. But in front of us lies a dynamic city with so many possibilities, and I can’t help but feel elated and so lucky that we will be able to leave yet another footprint on this country, and behold another opportunity to build relationships and shape our world.

Here are some snaps of a long weekend we spent in San Fran last August…there will be many more to come once we are settled into our new place, in a little ‘hood called Cow Hollow.

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{our home for the weekend: the mission}

san francisco july 2012 - presidio theater

{the presidio theater – just blocks from our new place}

san francisco july 2012 - lake

{strolling near the palace of fine arts}

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{the palace of fine arts on a cloudy day}

san francisco july 2012 - marina

{blue skies in the marina}

{but wait! there’s more…pictures!}

the homies at thekitchn.com

dunton bubbles outside

{cheers!}

One of my favorite food sites and sources of inspiration, thekitchn.com, is in the midst of polling for their annual ‘Homies’ awards, and eatandrelish.com is nominated in the ‘best healthy cooking blog’ and ‘best recipe blog’ categories! (Tee-hee!) You have to create an account to login and vote, and even though I know that is a big ask (really, another password to remember?!) I would be absolutely delighted if you did just that.  I’m listed alongside some of my favorite reads, and I’d be tickled pink to rack up a few votes – heck, I was just excited to even see my blog listed at all!

Head on over here to vote until February 8th – you’ll have to vote for each category separately (I hugely appreciate it!!).

I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend…..I am resting up for the big game tomorrow (GO RAVENS!!!) and have plans to make a wholelotta jambalaya and a king cake to bring to our friend CC’s house for the Superbowl.  N’awlins fare, ya’ll.…and don’t fret, we’ve got a few six packs of Abita Purple Haze to get into the spirit!