Saturday, November 22, 2014

thanksgiving in a box

this thanksgiving is going to be good for me.
i am a girl who is all about tradition. i've
never not had turkey on thanksgiving day...
even if my family was traveling, we've
done the whole shebang. i'm also a family
girl. {hello, as if this isn't obvious} and i've
always been with my family on thanksgiving.

this year with my parents living away in
johannesburg and us living away from
family, we thought it would be a good
year to do something different. shake it up
a little bit...or a lot. so, we'll be in india
having a very different but probably very
memorable thanksgiving this year. we're
actually probably already there as you
read this! {the miracle of scheduled posts}

so while i am very excited and thankful to
have the opportunity to see this amazing
new country, i know it will feel a little
different this year. but that's good! that
means we are living and experiencing new
things and it will make me appreciate
those classic thanksgivings past & future
so much more. this year thanksgiving 
couldn't quite escape us, and i did
find a way to have it early through one
of our favorite local companies delivering.
luke's local has been a favorite since
living in the bay, and luke saved our
thanksgiving this year by sending us a
sampler of their thanksgiving boxes that
are on sale this year. i love to cook as
much as anyone, but i know that there may
be some others who are in different 
situations and looking for a local company
that still feels like homemade thanksgiving
dinner. this is your ticket! taking a look at
the menu here will make you so excited for
thanksgiving. they really do it right! and
here are a few photos from our little
thanksgiving 2014 that came in a box :)
^^ a pretty darling delivery, if i do say so myself.
*remember, this was a sampler box for 2 - the actual
thanksgiving delivery would be much larger :)
i loved this gorgeous fall arrangement made up of  
french marigolds, sunflowers, milkweed, etc. this
splash of fall color would be so perfect for a 
thanksgiving table, am i right??? ^^
^^ why don't we eat like this all year round? 
that is my question.
one of our best thanksgivings because it equaled
zero dishes :) it might not have looked as festive, but 
i definitely got my thanksgiving fill from this tender
turkey, tangy cranberry sauce, creamy mashed potatoes,
 and the yummiest roasted brussels sprouts- a great addition.
obviously if you have it delivered on the real day you
would put it on plates and make it all fancy, but this is 
our year to get away with not doing that. and it still tasted
just as good :) we also tried the yummy rolls, one of the best
 parts always! there are a lot more amazing menu items
on the website -- i'm eyeing those candied sweet potatoes!

and let's never forget pie. a homemade pumpkin pie 
tastes so much better, and this is how luke's tasted. 
also-the apple pie has an strudel topping that is
out-of-this-world. i could never decide 
between these two, so just trust me! get both :)

whether you're cooking this thanksgiving, being cooked for, 
ordering, going out, or being completely random and going to
india...i hope your holiday is filled with good food and family
 and favorite people and some tradition...or something new.

i'm grateful for things that change and things that stay the
same all at once. i'm grateful for tradition and comfort,
but also for newness and getting out of comfort zones.
i'm grateful for a spouse who loves both and is by my
side every step of every day. i'm grateful for friends
and family who love and support us. i'm grateful
for having a home to miss, and for having new places
and experiences to fall in love with. i'm grateful for
this year for pushing and stretching me and being
one to remember. i'm grateful for the future and for
always being able to look forward. i'm grateful for the
little life we've built on our own. i'm grateful for
all the little tiny things that make up this wonderful
world. i'm grateful for good food, holidays, & reasons
to stop and remember how good we have it - even
just to be alive. here's to some curry turkey this
thanksgiving for us! :) thanks luke's for giving
us a taste of real thanksgiving before we left.
*you can order a thanksgiving box from luke's up until
midnight on monday night-- so go look at the menu here!
and see their cute thanksgiving video here!

Friday, November 21, 2014

walt disney museum

happy friday! and how can it not be, when you're about
to see a museum all about the life of walt disney?!
we've been meaning to check out san francisco's walt 
disney museum since moving here, and last weekend's
visitors gave us a reason to. my brother jeff just finished
reading a biography of walt, and with saving mr. banks
coming out this last year, we all felt a little more interested
in the man behind the magic. walt's daughter has done
an amazing job with this museum, and it's well worth
the entry fee to go wander around all things disney for
a few hours. *note: it actually isn't the best museum for
kids, as it's less interactive and more informative...
but it's amazing for adults and disney lovers!
i love the location, it's so unexpected right in the
presidio with a great view of the golden gate.
^^ the entry cost is $20 which might seem steep, but it is 
one of the most well done museums and well worth it.

^^ upstairs in the entry you can see the many awards and
accolades walt received in his life...including lots of 
academy awards for disney movies. pretty amazing
to see everything in one place and realize he was
responsible for so many great productions!

^^ that unique oscar award in the middle bottom 
was specially made for snow white & the 7 dwarfs, 
disney's first feature production and the first animation 
to win an oscar. now i need to go watch it again!

early animations ^^

and welcome to hollywood! the museum truly goes 
through walt's life as if you're walking through it.

it's crazy to think of walt arriving in hollywood with
$40 to his name. good thing he had enthusiasm! ^^

i loved seeing all of his first animation ideas ^^

AND, the first ever sketchings of mickey mouse. ^^
what??? i love it. walt came up with the character 
and almost named it "mortimer mouse" before
realizing mickey was much better, thank goodness! :)

mickey used to look a little bit different! ^^

^^ little did walt know that mickey would still be a 
household name today...and that minnie would come along!

^^ love these cute original dwarfs. we read all
 about how disney came up with the names and
ideas for them, and then found the right voices to
match all of them for the movie. they're so cute!

^^ i was blown away seeing the level of detail
the animators had to use when creating characters.
once the company grew and multiple animators were
working on movies, they had to write detailed notes 
for exactly how characters moved and looked in every
instance. it was so fascinating to watch examples of this.

early sketchings of jiminy cricket.
how do these not make you smile?!

jeff and chase both LOVED every single detail
 of this museum and couldn't miss one part. ^^ 

^^ and, that view!!

^^ and that view! :)

^^ the end of the museum is all about disneyland
and how it was created. these TVs were showing
footage from disneyland's opening day. can you imagine?

^^ walt in front of the castle while it was under
construction -- such fun pictures to see! 
how did he imagine this magical world?
^^ and here is the model they made for the 
original disneyland plans. chase LOVES d-land 
so we had to spend some time here while he 
pointed out all his favorite parts of the park :)
cheers to a great tribute to a man who truly
spread magic. it's hard not to like him, and
hard not to like this museum experience!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

mozzeria: san francisco's deaf restaurant

mozzeria was the most memorable restaurant experience
we've had. not only because of the incredible zagat-rated
food and wood-fired pizzas, but because there is 
truly something special and different about this place.
we've never been anywhere like this in our lives.
it is owned by melody & russell stein, a deaf couple 
who created this restaurant which employs all 
deaf or hard-of-hearing employees. this incredible 
aspect of the restaurant makes for a special 
atmosphere that will definitely make you stop, 
slow down, notice, and enjoy your meal. 
you'll want to return again and again. 
when my brother and sister-in-law were visiting us
last weekend, we knew we had to take them here...
especially because their little son zach {our nephew}
was born with a hearing loss. obviously when someone
in your family is affected with something, it becomes
more personal and makes me so much more aware
and appreciative of others with similar situations.
you also realize that it is not a disability, but a 
gift and something that makes them special. my
sister-in-law whitney was so prepared to have a
 child with a hearing loss, as she had learned sign 
language during college and took multiple trips
to kenya to work at deaf orphanages. she has a 
special connection to the deaf community and
it was strengthened even more with little z.
for all these reasons, we were excited to take her
to mozzeria! because this place has great food on
its own, it doesn't boast or publicize the deaf
aspect at all {it doesn't need to!} so, we didn't 
tell jeff & whit about that part. we simply took
a cab, walked in, and i watched them slowly
realize what this restaurant entailed.
^^ you walk in and you can circle whether you have a 
reservation, and write down your name. the restaurant
is soothingly quiet, with some people talking but lots of
others signing to each other. it is one of the coolest and
most beautiful things to look around and see many diners,
chefs, and waiters speaking in sign language. whitney
picked up on it immediately and tears came to her eyes
as she realized where we were! she had heard about it
before in an article, and remembered it at that moment.
i was so glad we had waited to come here with whit & jeff!
we loved our darling waitress, and we wrote down our 
orders while whitney signed and made new friends like 
she always does. the waitress showed us her favorites,
and we went with two amazing salads and two pizzas.
this kale salad packed with roasted beets, chevre, candied 
almonds, and the best lemon vinaigrette started us off right. 
i don't know what it is about a good, fresh salad, but it makes 
me love a place immediately. this salad starts your meal right.
^^ as does the pumpkin salad with argula // pepita // 
sesame seed / /grana padano // currants and a 
homemade port vinaigrette. this salad is perfect for
 fall and i probably ate most of it at our table :)
the pizza came out and satisfied all of us. we tried the 
quattro formaggi {four cheese} pizza, (yum!)
^^ as well as the italian sausage {boys choice}
the crust was done to perfection on both, and 
the flavors were fresh and authentic. 
i'd come back for this great pizza.
^^ here's whit showing pictures of little zach
and making new friends through sign language.
there is such a great community and a lot of groups
 who regularly meet at mozzeria, both hearing and deaf.
^^ i could have watched them sign all night! 
^^ one more shot of that perfect crust
{the most important part!}
^^ right by the door they have this painting showing
how to say "pizza" in sign language, which i loved! 
^^ here's jeff & chase making "pizza" in sign language 
together with their hands. i loved this memorable 
night and we all promised we would come back
with zach and eat here in the future!

mozzeria doesn't advertise the unique experience
of the restaurant -- they let the food speak for
itself, and people who know about it continue
to come back. we will be some of those people
now, and i hope you will too when you're in SF!
thank you mozzeria for the great meal and
absolutely wonderful, memorable experience.