The other night Jillian and I threw a girls cocktail party at my place. She graciously made all the food and I was in charge of the drinks. It was a great time with friends … but not my finest bartending hour. You see, Matt was out of town and he’s the resident bar tender. I had imagined and planned my cocktails, but in the end they didn’t turn out as I had hoped. My plan was to share with you my cocktail recipes, but I’m still tweaking.


Instead, I have to share the “recipe” for the spa water. All the credit goes to Jillian for this one. I’m usually one to plunk in some lemon, mint or cucumber into my water, but she suggested omitting the lemon and adding strawberries. Lemons, she says, can make the water too bitter if left in too long. So a couple hours before the party started, I peeled and sliced cucumbers, removed the stems from the berries and added some mint leaves to a water pitcher. While you can enjoy then, it’s best to chill in the fridge for a while to get the full infusion effect. Then you’re ready for a deliciously crisp and softly sweet water.

It’s so delicious that I enjoyed some by the pool the next day. Talk about refreshing!

P.S. Want to see us being all cute and hostesses? Done and done.





The next installment of Explore SF takes us to brunch (sensing a theme here?) at Chambers Eat + Drink. It was my second time here and it was just as good as I had remembered. Connected to San Francisco’s “iconic rock ‘n’ roll hotel” The Phoenix, it is like a blast from the past. I half expected to see Don Draper outside of the window by the pool. (One can dream, right?) Even the friendly staff was feeling it, dubbing some photo-taking friends as the new Rat Pack.

The restaurant and bar is more than just retro music inspired decor. Don’t let the vintage vibes throw you, though, the meals aren’t your typical diner fare. The focus is about flavor more so than monster portions. The menu features California market fresh dishes with Japanese and Mediterranean influences. Plates are so good that you are bound to end up sharing some bites, so it is wise to order a couple sides if you’re needing to fuel up after a wild night out. This last time I had the egg sandwich and salad that had me practically licking my plate. Matt opted for the omelet with chorizo and a deliciously creamy cheese. It doesn’t look like your typical (boring and bland) omelet and thankfully doesn’t taste like one either.


I hear this place is also a good time in the evening hours. While I’d love to come back, I try not to hang around the Tenderloin after dark if at all possible. You could also convince me to chill at the pool side cabanas on the mid-century modern patio. With delicious drinks – try the refreshing Chambers Mimosa! – and the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having, Chambers really is quite the hot spot.


Chambers Eat + Drink 601 Eddy St., San Francisco
Tasty brunch and cocktails, patio seating, friendly staff, good for groups, retro rock ‘n’ roll decor
Street parking, beware of tweakers in the Tenderloin, accepts credit cards



Introducing a new feature for Sparkle Meets Pop: Explore SF! It’s a challenge for me to find the best of San Francisco and report back to you. Any locals with suggestions, let me know. Heck, let’s even go together. :)

A little background: I live just outside of San Francisco and relish a visit over the bridge whenever I can. Yet, it wasn’t always that way. Having grown up across the bridge, I always considered San Francisco to be where you go Christmas shopping, see Phantom of the Opera or take visitors to see Pier 39. My young mind was baffled as to why it was such a vacation destination. My lack of SF knowledge hit its pinnacle when I stared dumbfounded at friends who wanted me to take them to Lombard Street. I hadn’t even known the windiest street in American existed.

There was so little I knew about the city that I was determined to explore it. Over the years I’ve done some fun things, eating amazing food and had some adventures, but there’s always more things to do, eat and see in a city as ever-changing as this one.


Fast forward to last night. My husband and I crossed the bridge to cheer on the SF DogFish, a Major League Ultimate team. (Yes, Ultimate Frisbee is officially legit now.) After the game and some grog and grub at a local pub, we headed to the car to drive back. I was sad to say goodbye to the city after just a few hours of fun, when Matt asked if I wanted to go to that “ice cream place.”

San Francisco is becoming known for its artisan ice creams – like Bi-Rite, Smitten and Humphry Slocombe – but my heart was set on a trip to The Ice Cream Bar. It’s a swanky little ice cream shop and soda fountain complete with soda jerks and phosphate. Without a time machin, The Ice Cream Bar is the closest I can get to living out a scene from my favorite movie, A Date With Judy from 1948. It’s the perfect retro touch, with silver serving dishes and authentic furnishings, but with the modern conveniences of credit cards and vegan-friendly options. Choose from homemade flavors like butterscotch, creme fraiche and chocolate chip almond milk – although flavors do vary by season and availability.

While we were there for ice cream, next time we are definitely going back to the soda fountain where we can get a phosphate with a little sting in it, as Judy’s Grandpa Foster would say.

The Ice Cream Bar
815 Cole St., Cole Valley, San Francisco
Ice cream, soda fountain and classic lunch counter food.
Reasonable prices, attentive service, limited parking, accepts credit cards.

LINK LOVE 05.09.13


Historical Guess Who | I’m pretty skeptical when “learning” is said to coincide with “fun,” yet this is a brilliant idea. Learn your famous faces of history while playing Guess Who, one of my favorite childhood games. I’m a history nerd, so I can imagine this including interesting stories along with learning the faces.

Tangerine Sorbet Champagne Floats | What’s better than an ice cream float and a mimosa? This refreshingly tasty treat. This sounds like the perfect drink for a girls brunch, don’t you think?

Cascading Floral Centerpiece | Here I am again with some easy floral centerpiece love. Sweet enough to be noticed, simple enough to let the conversations be the focus.

Healdsburg Shed | SF Bay Area locals, have you ever been to this place? With wine, a cafe and a fun shop, it sounds like a fun place to check out.

Summer Sandals | I’m a big sandal fan come the summer months. I like to make my sandals play double duty, especially when on vacation, by being able to dress up to go with a swim coverup by day and sweet sundresses by night. And these ones come in different colors and are on sale!