sons & daughters in downtown san francisco


Confession: this trip to Sons & Daughters exactly a week ago actually pulled me out of an intense appetite-stealing depression resulting from a certain personal situation. After a shitty, shitty week, Friday finally rolled around and my friends Megan and Sam invited me out for dinner before the Nasty Gal x Lookbook party (which I probably usually would have skipped out on if it weren't for my coworkers, it's just not my thing). Maybe I was still feeling under the weather when I first sat down but as soon as that meal started, I totally forgot about what was bothering me and just let myself go. It's kind of scary to lose your appetite when you enjoy food as much as I do... I'm feeling much better now, thank you.

cucumber amuse bouche
bread + butter + hawaiian pink salt

The first thing that caught my attention and contributed to my abnormal burst of happiness at this restaurant? THE PLAYLIST. The Smiths, Bowie, Radiohead, Interpol, and even Arcade Fire... I could hardly sit still. The three of us went with the four course meal (sans the wine pairing, maybe next time) and while Megan and I chose all of our courses, Sam decided to let our waiter (who was really attentive and awesome about explaining everything) choose everything for him. Man, I wish all waiters were like him. Always spot on with his responses to our questions and never pushy, that's how everyone should be. First we had an amuse bouse with cucumber slices and little roe-like spheres of honey and bread with butter and hawaiian pink sea salt crystals while we waited for our first courses.

oxtail tartare
cream of beet soup
sweetbreads + dungeness crab

Next came my oxtail tartare with miso, juniper berry, chervil, and potato chips and Megan's cream of beet soup with creme fraiche. Our waiter chose the tartare for Sam and we were all quite pleased with our first courses. I remember trying my best to scoop up every last bit off of my plate... it was that good. The soup was also pretty decent from what I can recall but I definitely liked mine best. Megan and I chose the same second course, the sweetbreads and dungeness crab with pureed garbanzo beans, baby greens, and a light dijon foam. Sam ended up with the seared foie gras which came with a yogurt and concord grape granite. Terrific, terrific. My favorite part about that second course was definitely the crab since you could taste how fresh it was with just the right amount of seasoning.

squab breast + confit leg
lavender pork belly + pork tenderloin

And finally, the third course. This is where you can tell that I was starting to lose my light and I actually considered not posting these but it's so hard not to share them. Megan got the squab breast and confit leg with chickpeas, maitake mushrooms, and savory jus while Sam and I had the lavender pork belly and pork tenderloin with torpedo onions, an herb puree, and barley. Again, I am SO GLAD I chose what I got and I would definitely get it again. Okay, so maybe I just happen to be so in love with pork that I naturally gravitate towards it with every chance I get (Cochon 555 again next year, anyone?), but still, I've had some pretty mediocre pork tenderloin and this one was exceptional. I think the biggest problem I have with pork tenderloin is that I love it so much that I'm super picky about it and to me it's either not cooked right or overseasoned yet this one was just perfect. Even Megan who was satisfied with her own dish admitted that she wished she had chosen the pork.

(Not pictured is the fourth course, dessert, since I totally lost my lighting by then. In any case, we all had the vanilla panna cotta with blueberries and a lemon verbena gelee at the top which was fantastic, of course.)

For what you get, Sons & Daughters is totally underpriced since I'd usually expect to pay much more for the quality of food that I had there. At no point during the meal did I ever feel stuffy or uncomfortable, the entire time I was at ease talking to my friends and enjoying a spectacular meal. You know, even if you're not into the idea of spending so much money on pricey meals, even as a college student I try to set aside a bit of money so I can treat myself to a great meal every once in a while. Buying new clothes and other material possessions can be fun but to me, nothing compares to the simple inherent pleasure that you experience when that first bite hits your mouth and all of your senses start to work together to process the meal in front of you. It's amazing to see how much happiness can come from something as necessary as eating...

the hot tub's too hot

modcloth blushing ambition dress, vintage loafers + sunglasses

Classic example of always wanting what you can't have: a couple days ago I was complaining about how cold it's been all summer and today I am reduced to one big pile of sweat in 90+ degree weather. I finally got to wear my namesake dress from Modcloth with this change in weather but still, why couldn't it go from 60s to upper 70s instead of jumping 30 whole degrees in a few days? Yeah, yeah, it could be much worse but jeeeeez. I'm just not used to this. I can't even form full sentences.

Wore this out to get ice cream and shop around Hayes Valley for a little. Brent bought a pair of awesome woven YMC oxfords while I oogled these Rachel Comey booties at Gimme shoes. One positive thing about the heat? My inability to spend money and buy any new clothes or shoes when all I wanted to do at that moment was to take everything off and lay around in an air conditioned room. If this weather continues into the school year I am going to pull a tantrum à la Zack Galifinakis: "IT'S NOT FUN WHEN IT'S SO HOT!!"

ETA: I look way too happy in these photos. I think it was the 6:00pm breeze that was rolling in, holy shit that felt so good. I just can't function in the heat, that's why I live in the bay area after all...


Feature: Below Dark Water

Personal Blog


GGotW: In some of your images you have black hair in some red, are you in truth blond?
BDW: Yep, caught me! I'm a natural blond, I'm really thankful for it too because it makes changing hair colours so much easier without the hours of bleaching and touch-up's, so it's in really good condition. It's been blue-back for over 5 years, so I decided I needed a change and went cherry!

GGotW: When did you start to model?
BDW: I started modeling when I turned 17. After wearing my friends self-made clothes in school projects and friends photo-shoots, and after being asked for a shoot or two by local photographers as a result, I decided that this was what I wanted to do and really got into the modeling scene. When I saw an alternative jewelry line online looking for alternative models, I jumped at the chance to do some more professional work. It's all really taken off from there, one shoot at a time.

GGotW: Why alt-modeling?
BDW: Since the age of about 15, I began to realize I wasn't really in tune with my current friends. As much as I fake tanned and suffered through Video Hits and pool parties, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was pretending for everyone. When I found out about alternative girls, girls who were different and relished it, it just felt like coming home, though I lost a few friends over it because they couldn't see the appeal.
But I fitted right into the scene, I felt normal. I think that's why I love alternative modeling- you're something that's a taboo, someone most people don't like to admit they enjoy looking at. But at the same time, you're just being you. You don't have to pretend, the viewer will do that for you.

GGotW: Is there a lot of opportunity to model in Australia?
BDW: Because I haven't modeled overseas yet, I don't really have much to compare it to, but Australia does have a rapidly emerging alternative scene. When I started modeling it was rather hard to find photographers in my area who were as into my somewhat strange shoot ideas as I was. But there are more and more alternative models and photographers and designers popping up all the time, I think it's fantastic. There certainly are some amazing veterans of the Australian alternative scene who've been here for ages keeping it growing. I really admire them. I just wish we had more alternative agencies!

GGotW: Who have you shot with?
BDW: I've shot with stacks of fantastic photographers, both local and those who've traveled here from overseas, other alternative models, make-up artists and hairstylists, and alternative designers like Tentacle Threads, Dusk Moth, Asylum 7 and Obsidian Lace, who've all given me fantastic opportunities like runways and promo shows and publications, I really owe them a lot. I'm looking to do more runway work at the moment, just for variety.

GGotW: How often do you get to do a shoot?
BDW: During the beginning of the year, for some reason the Sydney alternative scene is a little quieter, and it's harder to find regular work. Around now, in the middle of the year, it really picks up and there are so many shows and runways and shoots to go to, it can get quite hectic! At one point, I've done 5 shoots in one week. For me, that was absolutely exhausting.

GGotW: What do you do when you're not shooting images?
BDW: I'd love to say it's party central, but I'm also an art student at University, so when I'm not shooting, my time is either spent writing essays, painting things, or with my boyfriend. Until the holidays come, it's shoot, work, shoot, work! But I'm not complaining- being an art student sort of gives you inspiration for shoot ideas, it all overlaps and affects the other in some way.

GGotW: What are you taking in University?
BDW: I'm currently undertaking a Visual Arts course, majoring in textiles. Despite all the sewing and the cutting and the styling, all attempts at making my own clothing always seems to go horribly wrong!

GGotW: Do you have any interesting projects coming up?
BDW: I'm actually part of Miss Alternative 2010, Australia's first beauty pageant for alternative girls. Hopefully if I get through, I'll be representing NSW in the state and possibly national finals, I'm really excited for it! But there's some really amazing competition so all I can really do is keep my fingers crossed and hope whilst voting commences.

GGotW: What's involved in the competition?'
BDW: At present I'm uncertain of the 'talents' section of the pageant, but after voting, the top girls from each state of Australia go to the semi finals, and after that, the winners from that continue on to the finals in January next year, held in Sydney, both involve being on stage in-front of a panel of judges. It's pretty much for girls of goth, pin-up, rockabilly, burlesque, tattooed, punk and every other alternative genre you can think of, it's fantastic that some people in Aus are getting behind this. Hopefully this really takes off!

GGotW: What was your most recent shoot?
BDW: My most recent shoot was in Sydney, 2 weeks or so back outside a Cathedral in Sydney. It was a sort of 'Tim Burton' styled shoot, we were going for very elongated body and legs, sort of elegant and dark. We even had a body-painter for the day, it was brilliant until it rained and ran everywhere!

The church security guard didn't seem to like our appearance as we were sheltering inside the church until it stopped raining, and actually kicked us all out into the rain, but let everyone else stay inside! That's what being a goth in a church does for you!

Two new images from Below Dark Water, for the end of the year 2010.
Below Dark Water NudeBelow Dark Water Face

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a day with a chu

hope oversized cropped tee, old lux skirt, united bamboo booties, fjallraven kanken backpack

These aren't really the best photos of this outfit but they're the most decent ones in the bunch, even if they are horribly overexposed. Here we are walking home after a long day running errands downtown. This day was actually special for me since it is the second time in three months that we've been able to spend a whole day with each other (I always had work on his days off). The weather was actually decent, a little chilly at times, but still much warmer than most of the days we've had in the city.


I had to post these photos, they're too cute. I love this boy so, so, so much, even if he loves to wear ridiculous things (like these oversized leopard print sunglasses) to piss me off and is always teasing me about silly things. I wouldn't change a thing about him after nearly a year and six months and I'm super excited about finally getting to spend whole days together! I think our next adventure will be lunch at Wayfare Tavern to try Tyler Florence's attempt at making what he calls the best burger in San Francisco. Alright, TyFlo, I'll be the judge of that. Either way, I'm just happy that Brenty and I can finally go on cute little dates together, I really needed that.


Spicy turkey and three-cheese pressed sandwiches from Tartine. I missed this so much. I've mentioned this before but Tartine is only five blocks away from BF's apartment and back in the day we'd always walk there for morning pastries and coffee. I guess you don't really appreciate these little things and tiruals like these until you can't do them together anymore so this sandwich was especially delicious. I love sitting outside and watching people as they walk by, San Francisco is full of such interesting/weird/awesome characters. I can't wait to move to the city when I graduate.


Funny story: I was so annoyed with his leopard print sunglasses that I made him put on his roommate's Ray Bans for the photo. I guess it doesn't matter anymore since I posted the other photos anyway. Oh my silly Pikachu, I still love you even if you are a bit much sometimes.

if you're thinking about getting a DSLR...

thrifted linen shirt, acne graphic tee, citizens of humanity jean leggings, forever 21 ring, united bamboo booties via creatures of comfort

I get a lot of questions about my camera so I thought I'd finally take some time talk about it here. I've been using my Nikon D5000 DLSR for the past 9 months and I wouldn't trade it in for anything else. It's easy to use even when I usually shoot with manual settings and even has a live-view option with an LCD screen which can flip around and let you see from different angles. Before this I had a point-and-shoot camera for everyday shots and a film SLR (Minolta SRT-201) for the occasional outing but I was always very hesitant about spending so much on a DSLR until my 21st birthday finally rolled around. Now I have my camera with me around 75% of the time and although it may seem big, it actually fits in most of my bags (although Luxirare's camera bag is pretty fucking fantastic, isn't it?)

As for the lens, for a month or so I was shopping around for the easiest lens I could possibly use and came across this 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX one which is the most similar to the lens I was used to shooting with for my film SLR. I usually shoot with a high aperture since I prefer photos with a lot of light so I rarely take photos at night unless there's exceptionally good lighting. Overall, I'm satisfied with how clear my photos turn out and I'd definitely recommend both the camera and lens to anyone who is considering getting a DSLR.

I know I'm totally cheating with this type of outfit shot but sometimes you just can't find someone to take your photos. Thanks to everyone who commented on my hair, I'm still getting used to it but right now I'm actually really happy with the way it looks. I've also been wearing my new United Bamboo booties all weekend which make terrible days much more bearable even when you've lost your phone on BART and may have stepped in dog crap. Don't worry, it came off and someone was kind enough to pick it up and drop it off at a station. I'm so happy people like that still exist in this world.

ETA: I've also been getting a couple comments/emails about my Fjallraven bag... J.Crew stocks them in the children section! I'm not sure if they have them in stores since none of the stores around here carry the kids' collections but I just ordered another in black online. Also, check out my interview with Beso for winning their contest with Chictopia!

united bamboo booties

Feature: SinDelle Morte

Scream Machine


GGotW: You're the lead vocalist for Scream Machine, how did that come about?
SDM: Scream Machine is actually my music project. I started it a few years ago with my husband, so technically we are more of a duo, I guess. A few years ago, my husband's younger brother was killed in a drive-by shooting type of situation and my husband was totally crushed by it. I'm not exactly Ms. Supportive but I wanted to do something to try and ease his pain or show him I was there for him. I wrote a song called "R.I.P." for him, in memory of his brother. More songs followed and Scream Machine came to be. We've gotten some attention over the past few years and we are about to release our 4th album but in the end, it's always been and always will be me writing songs for my husband. And him writing songs for me.

GGotW: How long have you been singing?
SDM: Oh, God, years. Ever since I was a little, little kid. I can remember singing along to Whitney Houston in the back of the car when I was like 5 or 6. I'd probably rather sing than do anything else in the world. Nothing makes me feel better faster, nothing makes me happier. My vocal style ranges from Mariah Carey to Phil Anselmo from Pantera and to MANY in-between.

GGotW: When is this fourth album due out?
SDM: Our fourth full-length album is Electrowitch and it will be out on Friday the 13th, August 2010. We always try to put albums out on dates that are somewhat special or notorious.

GGotW: What kind of stuff can we expect on Electrowitch?
SDM: Electrowitch is definitely more topically varied than some of our previous albums. Our previous release, Addicted To The Whip was mostly about S&M activities, the BDSM lifestyle and that kind of thing. Electrowitch has much more varied subject matter, including The Holocaust, Lilith [Adam's first wife & the original succubus], necrophilia, political uprising and being lost in the woods alone at night. You can expect heavy synths, crashing drums, industrial noises and my own creepy vocals. We fuse a lot of different influences together and many reviewers have remarked on the fact that no two songs really sound the same. "Each track is an original." That is my favorite compliment.

GGotW: Any plans currently for a fifth album?
SDM: Absolutely. Lol, It's already pretty much done. Sometimes I just get into a frenzy of songwriting and that is what happened recently. I have written like 20 songs in the past month. Most will end up on the next album. Once I catch up on my sleep, that is.

GGotW: Any shows planned?
SDM: Right now we have like, no time for live shows, though we have been invited to play all over the place. We really hope our schedules calm down and we can fit some live stuff in. That is where you really connect with people.

GGotW: What led you to modeling?
SDM: People saying I'm photogenic, lol.

GGotW: What do you enjoy about modeling?
SDM: I really like seeing an idea or concept translated into some type of tangible media, whatever it is. If it's film, if it's graphic art, if it's "traditional" art, using paints or charcoal or whatever, if it's music or photography... I just like seeing ideas actualized.

GGotW: What has been your funnest shoot?
SDM: Probably the one I did for the photo-set "Witch." It was originally intended for a very-well known nude alternative modeling site I was asked to submit a set to (I changed my mind and did not submit them after reading the contract). My husband actually shot those photos and let's just say after the shoot it got very interesting. THOSE pictures are private, lol.

GGotW: What would you like to shoot next?
SDM: It's almost cliche but I'd really like to do something in a graveyard. Black and white, high-resolution. Very goth-macabre.

GGotW: What do you do, when you're not making music?
SDM: Lol. I take care of kids all day. How's that for your peace of mind?

** New images from SinDelle Morte for 2010 Year End.

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new hair and a trip to porto's bakery

new hairnew hair
la dama crystal bullet necklace, t by alexander wang striped top

Quick trip to LA, no time to do anything but see family, cut my hair (bleh), and attend the Real Madrid game which has been, by far, the highlight of my summer. I still can't believe I was right behind Iker Casillas, the best goalie in the world (even though my favorite Mexican player Chicharito scored against him today, har har har...) while also seeing so many of my favorite players in action. It was so surreal. Other than that, this weekend was uneventful. I usually make a point of swinging by Porto's on my way to my parent's from the Burbank Airport but this time I went right before my flight. I'd only been here for lunch once or twice (the rest of the time we just pick up pastries to go) but I had time to kill before my flight so hey, why not?

But before we get to the food, I'll state the obvious: YES, I cut my hair again. I'd been wanting to do it for a while (the last time I cut it this short was four years ago before college) and finally bit the bullet (lol necklace, get it). I really like it but my hair won't airdry well with this cut so I'm stuck styling it until it grows out a little. Oh well.

ham & cheese croissant
steak torta

Mom had the ham & cheese croissant, my brother had the steak torta, and I had the medianoche which contained layers of ham & pork between buttered buns (oh dear) with mustard and pickles. See those plantain chips? I could eat those all day, every day. Also worth mentioning is their horchata smoothie which includes a bit of caramel drizzled on the bottom... so decadent. I remember 7-11 tried to come out with frozen horchatas but they weren't this delicious. I must try making that one day. Brenty and I made homemade horchata once (which was quickly spiked with rum) and it came out quite well.

steak torta
horchata smoothie