Donating Hair For a Good Cause

I have a big family, and we all love to get together to catch up, laugh, and eat —

Great memories are always made.

Today, we met up for a barbecue, where the kids could run around and play; and the adults could stroll around the beautiful lake and catch up on all the latests.  One of my aunties was telling everyone about how she’d been growing her (gorgeous) hair out with the intention of donating it to an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients who’ve lost their hair.  I’ve donated my hair to Locks of Love before (so has my older brother), so I was really excited about the idea.  Jokingly, I told her,

“I can cut your hair. I have scissors in my car!”

She was game, so I ended up giving her a great lob right in the park (haha – talk about a great memory!)

My aunt is a brilliant engineer with three sons ranging from ~8 to 17 years of age, and she doesn’t have much time for herself.  So she needed something that ideally would still be able to be pulled back into a ponytail.  I decided to go with a shoulder-length lob because I think it was the perfect balance of easy and stylish for an on-the-go working mother like her.  Check out the before and after photos below and let me know what you think!

Also, here are some resources for organizations that accept hair donations from 8 inches to 12 inches:

Pantene Beautiful Lengths (at least 8″)

Locks of Love (at least 10″)

Wigs for Kids (at least 12″)

xo,

Huck

BEFORE

AFTER

Nutella & Bourbon Babka

Remember when Jerry & Elaine had to get the “lesser babka” – the cinnamon one – because the last, greater babka – the chocolate one – was sold right in front of them?

It was the first thing I thought of when this Sandwich-inspired Babka article was recently published in a Lucky Peach newsletter. I thought to myself: what would be the ultimate babka?  It would have to pair perfectly with a nice cup of coffee or black tea, enjoyed while sitting in a comfy chair, with some softly lulling melody that wouldn’t require too much attention.  I’d need time to simmer on this…

Upon passing through the nut-butter aisle of my local market, the bold sans-serifed: n u t e l l a logo jumped out at me #goodmarketingguys.  And on the fourth day, the nutella and bourbon babka with blood-orange glaze was born.  Let me know what you think of the recipe!

INGREDIENTS

The babka:

  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 package of instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of 1 blood orange
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup nutella
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

The glaze:

  • Juice of 1 blood orange (+ enough water to make 1/2 cup of liquid)
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

  • Combine 1 cup of the flour (reserve 4 cups) with yeast and warm water; cover with a towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes (it should look all bubbly).
  • Add salt, sugar, oil, eggs, orange zest, and vanilla and stir until combined; then add the remaining flour slowly and mix.  Gently knead the dough on a floured work surface until it becomes smooth and then let it sit in a bowl until it has risen (about 2x in size) for at least one hour
  • While you’re waiting for your dough to rise, you can start making the filling.  In a small saucepan on low heat, melt butter, chocolate, and nutella together until smooth.  Slowly add in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and stir until smooth.
  • Once the dough has risen, punch it down on a floured work surface and divide into 2 equal parts.  Roll each piece out into a long rectangular shape and place on a piece of parchment paper, then spread filling over the top of each.  Stack the pieces and roll it into a tight coil.  To keep it together, wrap in the parchment paper and use a piece of tape to keep it securely coiled.  Refrigerate overnight (or keep in freezer for 30 minutes if you’re in a crunch).
  • After chilling, cut the log lengthwise, and with the cut sides up twist the 2 pieces together.
  • Place on a parchment lined pan and bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes.
  • While the babka bakes, you can make the blood orange glaze! In a small saucepan, add the orange juice and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and thickens slightly.
  • Remove babka from oven and brush some glaze over it and let them cool for a bit before serving!

blood orange zest:

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combining zest, eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla into the flour + yeast mixture:

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pretty blood oranges:

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blood orange glaze in the making:

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pre-risen dough ball:

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risen dough after about 90 minutes:

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rolling out the babka dough:

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baked in a cast iron pan:

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baked in a loaf pan:

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bon appetit my lovelies!

xx, huckleberry kim

We Put On (Real) Pants Today

Once upon a time,

I was sixteen and wrote my college application essays about how I wanted to study economic development at UC Berkeley so I could start a minimalist apparel line with priorities of social consciousness and ecological consciousness in production.  Then, I could share my love for fashion & design with the world, while providing new jobs, under fair working conditions, to people around the world.

LOL.

Let’s not get in to that right now.

In any case, after I graduated from university, I thought further schooling at a fashion design institution would be the next logically progressive step…until I really thought about the practicality, economics, and rationale behind it all.

So instead, I went to Vietnam for a few months, where I worked in a small garment shop making mens clothing.  I wanted to learn how to tailor the perfect suit – since it’s one of the most technically challenging endeavors as far as garment-making is concerned.  But I had a special fascination with the pants.

Pants are so weird.

  Pants all seem to be really similar, but pants aren’t much without the people who adorn them.  And they morph into completely different Somethings depending on the wearer. So in that sense, pants are as unique as the people who wear them.  They fit waists, and legs, and butts differently – especially if you’re a woman.

The pants pictured here were one of the first pairs I ever designed, pattern-made, constructed, and tailored to myself.

 

They’re just simple, plain black skinny trousers (which I often like to wear cuffed up to reveal a little more ankle, #hashtagScandalous), but they hold a special place in my heart …and my closet.

My

just-for-me,

meticulously crafted,

perfectly tailored,

ride-or-die pants.

And sure, I’ve purchased trendy pants – sparkly culottes, drop-crotch-everything, fringed denim, boyfriend jeans, you name it – and they’ve had their places & uses in my life.

We’ve all been there: You see them, a million sparks fly, you have to take them home, you become immediately enamored, and then a few weeks later those sparks fade into obscurity… because honestly do you want sparkly culottes everyday long-term?  Or do you want the perfect pair of versatile, no-bullshit, ride-or-die trousers that go with everything.

Clearly we went really casual today to get through work; but I’m thinking we’ll go strappy high heels and a slinky silk blouse for our next night out. #everything


Life’s challenging, and complicated, and confusing a lot of the time – and it’s not going to stop being those things.  I’ve been trying to remind myself lately to be really grateful for the existence of these ride-or-die pants.

Sometimes you’ve just got to take a step back to see and appreciate what’s right there in front of you.

xx,

Huckleberry Kim

 

Huckleberry Travel Guide: Magical Santorini

This is a very overdue post! But my darlin’ friend Carlina & I have decided to buckle down on our content posting schedules, so I’m making it a priority.

We took a very spontaneous trip to Greece

last month and one of the wildest things I learned was that Greece has over 6,000 islands – 227 of which are inhabited. Talk about a lot of choices!

Obviously there are some main islands that are very popular holiday destinations, but I’m the type of traveller that believes that you can find interesting things to explore anywhere!  We were traveling for about two weeks, and we decided to first dip our toes in gorgeous Greek waters by way of Mykonos and Santorini. Let’s get into Santorini first – because it was amazing – also, I can’t find any of my photos from Mykonos today!

1. Atlantis Books in Oia: 

Of course, I packed really last minute & forgot my books – silly Huckleberry; so after finishing Noah’s extra book while we were in Mykonos, I was in need of some new reading material to accompany all of the intense beach bumming and lounging around drinking cappuccinos that we were doing.  Luckily, we happened across Atlantis Books – just down the street from our hotel in Oia – that had a great little selection of novels in English, French, Spanish, Greek – you name it

 

2. Amoudi Bay

Take a stroll down to Amoudi Bay for dinner and enjoy the breathtaking sunset at Sunset Ammoudi Taverna.  It was impossible not to take countless photos here before we got settled in for a lovely dinner.  The friendly servers will take you over to select your fish (which was brought in by the fisherman earlier in the day) and it’s perfectly grilled, no frills, with some simple accoutrements.  We tried a fish that was new to the both of us – a white croaker – which was absolutely lovely (sort of similar to a sea bass). Go there. Enjoy.  Make reservations ahead of time if you want a better table next to the water.

3. Kamari Beach

For some very chill beach vibes, head over to Kamari Beach – on the eastern side of the island.  Since Santorini was formed from a volcano, the beaches aren’t as sandy as Mykonos, but Kamari’s coarse black sand beach was definitely still a lovely place to spend an afternoon laying out.  With a number of small beach clubs, restaurants, and hotels around, it’s easy to grab a bottle of wine to enjoy.  We rode there from our place in Oia by way of ATV and it only took about 30 minutes to get there.

4. Every Sunset From Everywhere
Sunset from literally everywhere and anywhere on the island is pure magic.  At first when we arrived, we’d enquired with our concierge what the best places were to go for sunset; they gave us some great dinner-with-a-view suggestions or go out on a boat suggestions, which all sounded great. Though to be honest, my favorite sunset was on our last evening there when we just picked up a great bottle of wine and climbed up to this cliffside to watch the no-bullshit-sun fall into the sea. 

5. Dinner at Andronis

Dinner at the Andronis boutique hotel’s Lycabettus was one of the most incredible gastronomic experiences I’ve ever had – which given my self-proclaimed foodie status is saying a lot.  We got a reservation for an evening during which they had a special fusion menu by Chef Alex Tsiotinis – a chef, native of Greece, with experiences at world-class restaurants all over the world.  The cuisine and wine were amazing, there were musicians playing live music, the view is indescribably gorgeous, and of course, the company even better.  
andronis_santorini

6. Make time for Fira

Though we stayed in Oia for most of our time on Santorini, a day trip to Fira was one of my favorites!  Because the island is so elevated and volcanic, seeing it from Fira was a lovely new perspective.  Also, there are some great restaurants and sites to see in Fira; I’m glad we didn’t miss it!

7. Hasapiko in Oia (aka Mary Kay)

“Mary Kay” is a local bar that was recommended to us by a server at Lycabettus.  TBQH, Santorini is full of honeymooners – which is lovely – but Noah and I were also just looking to have one night of super casual chill.  Glad we found Mary Kay.  Beware of all of the cigarette smoke inside the bar. 

8. Get Lost

The pristine white caves dwellings stacked along the slopes of Santorini, cut by the perfect sky and sea blues, makes it so easy to get lost in the picturesque streets and alleys – both in Oia and Fira.  You’ll notice a lot of dogs lounging around – enjoying the lovely island lifestyle.  Grab a gelato.  Stumble into a cute restaurant with a view – sit and enjoy.

  santorini summer

xx,

Huckleberry Kim

Song of the moment:

I found a new love and it is this song <3

Prawn Saganaki

Post-vacation depression is: 

The. Worst.

Mostly because, Sweetheart, everyday life is so far from sunshine, beaches and rosé all day – especially if you live in the SF Bay Area. But, more on that later.

I recently returned from two weeks in Greece where I adventured to different parts of the islands of Mykonos and Santorini on the back of an ATV, slept in a lot, read novels on the beach, and frolicked in the glorious sunshine and Agean Sea.  Despite the fact that Greek cuisine is absolutely delicious, my travel partner and I actually skipped a lot of meals to happily prioritize the aforementioned.  But on one of the few days we totally over-ate, we tried this traditional Greek dish that we saw everyone ordering at the restaurant – Argo – we’d been recommended to try during our exploration of Fira.

 It was Prawn Saganaki.

The name totally sounds like a Japanese cartoon that features a ninja shrimp as the main protagonist, amiright?  In any case, we became pretty obsessed.  And after the first bite, as expected, my Huckleberry mind was already picking apart how I could create this Greek magic wizardry.  Like, was it only good because we were deluded from drunk-on-vacation vibes with no expectations?

Prawn Saganaki

Spoiler:

It’s completely brilliant in real, non-vacation, life too!

Prawns with Heads

Huckleberry Kim’s Prawn Saganaki

Serves 3ish.

Ingredients:

Please note: I’m one of those people who cooks by feelies and to taste (and doesn’t usually measure things much); so most of the following measurements are estimates based upon how much I think I used.  Next time I make this dish, I might update this – but the following should be close! 

  • 6 large full-bodied prawns, and by that I mean with heads intact to their tails!

↑ The heads/bodies are super important for a truly prawny base – learnt from my time in Barcelona learning how to make paella ↑ ).

  • 6 medium-large shrimps

↑ Honestly, I think the supplemental shrimp can be of any size you’d like. I like to play with the juxtaposition of textures and things in meals because I’m a mad scientist, but you do you, Babe.  )

  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • Half of an onion – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 4 tomatoes – chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 cup of Greek feta
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • A dash of cayenne pepper (optional, but do it like Guy Fieri would)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley – chopped (optional, for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Heat up a skillet on medium-heat with your EVOO and add the chopped onions – cook until softened
  2. Add coconut oil and garlic – cook all until nicely browned
  3. *IMPORTANT: Peel the tails of the large prawns and squeeze their heads over the pan (some weird prawn brains will ooze into the pan) – reserve the prawns – still intact – for later
  4. Add tomatoes and optional tomato paste
  5. Cook down for 10-15 minutes – or until the garlic, onions, and tomatoes embrace each other like best friends
  6.  Add the large prawns and cook until less translucent – maybe 3 minutes
  7. Add the other shrimps
  8. Add in the honey, sugar, and cayenne – stir well
  9. Very gradually add in the feta while keeping the Saganaki moving around the pan – it will slowly melt to combine with the other ingredients #bffs
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste
  11. Optionally, garnish with chopped parsley 🙂

Served with some toasted brioche for mopping up all the goodness; though this would pair well with anything! I might try doing a pasta next time. Let me know what you think!

Have you ever made a dish you tried for the first time on a trip?  How did it work out?!

xo,

Huckleberry Kim

S O N G  O F  T H E  M O M E N T

DIY Marble Top Table

  1. I recently moved into a new place and have been searching for the #allTheThings and was absolutely thrilled when I found the Eames DCMs in Navy (similar) pictured below.  These babes have been my dream dining chairs for sometime so I was happy to commit to them without yet having a table in mind… plus, I’ve always been a good problem-solver ;p

2. Fast-forward 2 weeks later: I meet this older woman who was selling this 250 pound thick slab of marble that was brought from Italy in 1940 to San Francisco, where it was used to make dough in a small pizzeria on Columbus.  No idea how to make a table base, but amazing story & immaculate piece of marble.

3. Fast-forward 1 week later: researching the interwebs on table-making.  Because I am going for a rustic-modern-minimalist vibe in the new spot, I wanted table legs that would not distract too much from the marble nor the chairs.  I opted for these 3-rod hairpins I found from this Denver-based maker.

4. Fast-forward to this past Sunday: The parts of this dining set have been strewn about my living quarters for weeks, and I’m fed up.  I spend a few hours at Home Depot collecting parts.  Then many more hours of trial and error, stripped screws, laughs, tears, heavy breathing, heavy lifting, pizza breaks… and NOW I HAVE A NOT-VERY-STURDY-BUT-STANDING TABLE!

She’ll probably need some more screws and reinforcement, but SHE STOOD THROUGH THE NIGHT! Hooray!

hello, huckleberry table.

marble table

This big piece of compressed something board (the only one I could lift by myself in the store) that would serve as the layer underneath the marble slab:

Home Depot

Laying out ideas for the frame:

Frame

Metal bracket placement (idea credit  my wonderful boyfriend, Noah):

Bracket

Quick tip: I broke one of my drill bits as I’m new to this whole operation; so if you’re a newbie, I’d suggest 1) making sure you lock your bits in tight & 2) cleaning them off in between pilot holes!

drilling

Here I am unscrewing a stripped screw using pliers. Truth: I have blisters on my fingers from this taxing challenge 🙁 I learned the hard way that in order to effectively get these screws driven through all the hardwood, I would need to use all of my body weight to push the nail in.  Learnt too late. 

Stripped Screws

Drilling

Song of the moment:

xx, Huckleberry Kim

#fbf: Lovable, Even At Your Worst

About three years ago, I sat on the porch of this amazing beachfront bungalow soaking up the sunshine and yelling at Trigger to stay away from the stray perros that seemed to run the beach town of Tulum.  It was easy to fall in love with this place – in all its magic and perfection.  It is easy to love under the clearest skies & the most positive circumstances.

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As of about three days ago, her staunch skeleton – having clearly been abandoned for some time – was all that remained.  Though her bones remain intact – undoubtedly surviving through many storms and wild inhabitants* – she is, now, definitely a ghost of her full and lively past.  I vividly recall: the cute young family that lived in one of the main yurts on the property – now gone.  No longer does she host young so-in-love couples ready to elope in her wake.   No longer is she as easy on the eyes nor so easy to be completely enamored by.  I took a moment to walk through, and at once felt both the soft ocean breeze and let the memories of those snapshots of a love-filled history drift past me and through her forsaken walls.  At once, my heart felt so full and an aching sense of loss.

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Looking at her now, some might think this little bungalow has let go her final death rattle, but I don’t think so.  I still love her, even in her imperfect dilapidated state.  She may never be a reoccupied nest of love (and impeccable design) that she once was; though even in her worst shape, one of the greatest loves I’ve ever known was still as inimitable and strong there 3 days ago as it was 3 years ago.

Sugar, if you won’t love something at its worst, you do not deserve it at its best. 

And if you are lucky enough to find that sort of great, amazingly powerful, true love for/from someone/thing – the kind that transcends time, struggles, challenges, and the worst parts of life – you should consider yourself extremely lucky.  I know that I do.

With all my heart,

Huckleberry Kim

(*re: wild inhabitants:  in its state now, I found some dead reptiles inside – potentially dragged in by some of those stray perros who still run the town (lol); three years ago, I’d crawled up to the loft space to surprise Tom after he’d run out to the car to grab something…but rather than surprise him, I was surprised by the giant opossum waiting up in the loft for me #terrifying)

sound of the moment:

the smiths – there is a light that never goes out

…to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die…

Sunset Sunset

Whether we wake up at dawn to climb up to a rooftop in Chelsea, climb over fences into the East River, or climb up steep San Francisco hills, Mitch and I have made some epic sunrise shoots happen over the last few years.  A few weeks ago, we were back on the west coast again, and this time we decided to take on the sunset in San Francisco’s Sunset district to catch our wonderful star disappearing into the Pacific.  I’m usually still working while the sun goes down, so it was an extra special treat to get to do this! Checkout some fave selects, outfit details, and a song of the moment below <3

Photography by Mitch Blummer

pinkAF

what i wore:

| off the shoulder sweater – sold out (similar) | topshop jeans | loeffler randall sneakers – sold out (similar) |

chunky grey off the shoulder sweaters:

High-top slip ons:

Distressed boyfriend jeans:

song of the moment:

Feels, Kiiara (+ a favorite remix)

| I have way too many feels, way too much emotion | I don’t even know what’s real |

xx,

Huckleberry Kim

A Healdsburg Weekend Itinerary

One of my best friends, S of Fork & 5th, decided that she wanted to escape frigid NYC and spend last weekend in wine country prior to our annual bonding week in SF for work.  We decided to do the girls weekend Healdsburg rather than Sonoma or Napa this trip to give ourselves the opportunity to explore a new area a bit further northwest of our usual wine country haunts, and IT WAS PHENOMENAL.

We stayed at an adorable Airbnb in Glen Ellen given that we’d planned to stop over at Ad Hoc in Yountville, where the daily-changing menu included a fried burrata we had to try.

Our itinerary included some lovely new wineries including Jordan Winery located on 58,000 beautiful acres and Lambert Bridge winery, which was amazingly pet-friendly for Baloo (my 3 month old puppy).

The tasting at Jordan Winery had lovely food pairings with their Burgundy style Cabernet & Chardonnay.

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Walking around the Jordan estate is a must. The main building pictured below is where the end-to-end winemaking happens – grapes come in, bottles come out.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

what i wore:
| cos cape (similar) | goorin hat (now on sale) | everlane chelsea boots | citizen of humanity jeans |
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The lovely garden on the Jordan estate is where their kitchen sources many fresh ingredients for their pairings and parties.
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This adorable dream-house nestled away atop a hill overlooking the Lambert Bridge Winery. Look. At. That. Wrap-Around. Porch. #slay
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Wine weekend squad at Lambert Bridge (minus the boys).
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Ever been to Healdsburg? Have any other suggestions for where to go?
xx, Huckleberry Kim
…hold on to everyone good…