Monthly Archives: July 2010

Getting Real about the picture-perfect Pimm’s Cup

On a recent trip to London, I rediscovered the magic that is Pimm’s Cup. Often served by the pitcher, Pimm’s Cup is a super-summery, fruit-laden drink that cools you off and gives you a nice “I could be punting down a river at Oxford” feeling. Sadly, it never quite made it big across the pond much to the chagrin of American sorority girls who have been forced to drink Mike’s Hard Lemonade when they needed a lemony-but-alcoholic-but-still-girly thirst quencher.

Here are the Pimm's Cups that we made on the Fourth of July (to celebrate the revolution)

So how can you make the perfect Pimm’s for your next summer picnic? Here’s how I like it:

  • A shot of Pimms (Pimms is a gin-based liqueur that is sometimes hard to find at your corner store or Safeway. Bev-Mo or other larger stores should stock it.)
  • 7-Up or ginger ale. (In the UK, they call 7-Up “lemonade”. Don’t be fooled, folks.)
  • Diced cucumbers, strawberries, and apples (much like Sangria, the fruit is the best – and most alcohol-soaked – part)
  • Lots of ice.

That’s it! Stir well and enjoy with friends 🙂


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Filed under Beverage, Ramya

Getting Real about the Barneys Warehouse SALE

50 – 75% OFF

BARNEYS Warehouse sale tomorrow – Saturday July 31st 9am to 7pm at the Fort Mason Herbst Pavilion in San Francisco

Here’s my chance to pretend I can afford that Dior blazer

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Filed under Fashion, Katie

Getting Real about Napa

One of the many perks of living in the bay area is proximity to wine country. Last weekend I took advantage of this fact and spent a sunny afternoon in Napa. First, I must note that I much prefer Sonoma to Napa. While both are chalk full of tourists, the former seems to get the slightly less obnoxious variety and tastings that are more reasonably priced. If you want to feel like you are at a vineyard, go to Sonoma, if you want to feel like you are at a resort, complete with perfectly trimmed foliage and fancy fountains, Napa’s the place. Having said that, Napa does have its worthwhile charms.

My friends and I headed north with a cooler full of picnic goodies, ready to sample some vino. What we found was wineries that had the worst of Napa, and some that had the best. The first winery we hit was Artesia. It’s situated up high in the hills with stunning views and (yes) fancy fountains. Plenty of fancy fountains. The staff however was very down to earth and approachable, using colorful language (“this one is like a punch in the jaw”) and serving up the wine with a smile. Almost every wine I had there was delicious. Their dessert wine was to.die.for. Yum.

Our next stop was a bit of a disappointment. Plump Jack is well known in Napa, and they also are affiliated with some popular restaurants in San Francisco. Maybe that’s why the vibe there was a bit too cool for school. The guy pouring our wine seemed very uninterested and spouted off wine descriptions like a robot. Additionally, there was a tv inside the tasting room playing Jaws 2, which was both incredibly distracting and utterly unappetizing. Do you want to be looking at bloody shark attacks as you sip your Zinfandel? Didn’t think so.  

Our third stop was the winery Clos du Val, rumored to have a great picnic area. We were looking forward to picking out a few bottles to buy and enjoy with our picnic. But then. The tasting room was extremely chaotic and loud, and the man pouring the wine seemed irritated that we were taking too long to chose a tasting. Then he proceeds to talk down to me when describing the wine. My friend asked him to tell us about the Pinot Noir we were tasting and he looked at us and said, “well do you know what a Pinot is?” Ok, I’m no wine connoisseur, but I worked in an Italian restaurant with an extensive wine list for a few years, so I know the basics. Don’t need the sass, thank you. I ask him how the Rose is and he answers, “pink”. Right. Well here is a better description for you dear readers: crap. Literally every wine I tried there was average at best. Poor service and mediocre wine. Feel free to skip this spot on your Napa tour.

The last winery we came across was Alpha Omega. Yes it was shiny and pretty (and it had a fountain), but the staff was incredibly friendly. Pauline, our host, took us through a delicious tasting, giving us a taste of 3 additional wines that weren’t even on the menu. She was attentive, gave great descriptions and recommendations, and made us feel super welcome. Downside: tastings are expensive, $20. Upside: tasting fee is waived with the purchase of a bottle. We got a few bottles of sauvignon blanc (crisp and refreshing) and one bottle of rose (fruity, but dry) and sat in the sunshine on one of their many picnic tables sipping, and eating and having a grand ‘ol time. Gold star for Alpha Omega. What are your favorite Napa spots?

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Filed under Beverage, Flora

Getting Real about the Renegade Craft Fair!

Hello blog world! Just a quick note to let you know where Katie and I will be this Saturday morning (right, Katie?!). The Renegade Craft Fair  is coming to SF and I am super excited! I always wanted to be the crafty, Martha-type but I am just not. And I am ok with that. Especially since I get to admire true crafters and buy lots of fun things (that I probably don’t need). Can’t wait to post pictures next week!

Hope you have a great weekend!

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Getting Real about your Starbucks name

After listening to a npr report this week about people ordering coffee under fake names I couldn’t resist myself when I walked into Starbucks this morning.  The line ahead of me was long, full of Europeans trying to order Americanos with names like Lucca and Fabio.  I started to get nervous about announcing my new name to the barista.  Would he question me?  What if he asked to see ID?  What would be an acceptable fake name for someone like myself?  Something like Sarah or Rachel?  But those are boring names, if this was my one opportunity to give myself a new name I wanted it to be daring and bold, like Roxanne or Trinity.

Finally my turn came, my hands were shaking trying to pull a $5 bill out of my wallet and I belted out “a tall latte for LIZZY please!”

Lizzy?!  Where did that come from?  Oh well I’ll take it.

I suggest you all try it, surprisingly liberating.


Filed under Beverage, Katie

Getting Real about bear attacks

Not all bears are cuddly friends like Teddy Ruxpin. See below:

Moral of the story: Do NOT leave peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in your car.

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Filed under internets, Ramya

Getting Real with the greatest TV character that ever lived – Pacey Witter

This one goes out to Flora…

Joshua Jackson is a baby George Clooney.  I love it!

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Filed under Hotness, Katie, TV

Getting Real with the “Jersey Shore”

Does anyone know why the entire cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” rang the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange this morning?

fist-pumping the market

Yeah I didn’t think so.

The Dow Jones ended the day up .1%, while the stock of MTV parent company Viacom was down 1.8%

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Filed under Katie, Money, TV

Getting Real about painting your apartment

Autumn Cover, Little Falls, and Golden Orchard

These were the colors I envisioned for my new apartment.

Saturday afternoon I headed to Cole Hardware with a mission and I was rudely awakened by a few things.

1. Paint is freaking expensive!

2. Groupon totally scammed me!

I don’t know who Benjamin Moore is but he has absolutely no right to be charging over $40 for a gallon of paint.  A friendly Cole Hardware employee suggested using Ace brand paint which came to half the cost of Benjamin Moore and the colors matched almost perfectly.  While checking out I handed over a Cole Hardware Groupon I had purchased a few weeks ago which would have saved me $20.  The Cole Hardware Groupon said it was redeemable at all Cole Hardware locations although the cashier said my Groupon serial number was only valid at the 4th Street location in SOMA.  I thought the nice people at Cole Hardware would make an exception for my Groupon which clearly stated redeemable at all locations, but no, I did not receive $20 off my paint.  I left Cole Hardware with a very bitter taste in my mouth.

Once I started painting I completely forgot about my Groupon mishap and how much money I had just spent on painters tape.  Something about taking a roller of orange paint to a white wall makes me really happy 🙂

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What do you think?  Is it too much?  Do I paint over with something a little more subtle?


Filed under Home, Katie