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 (August 2016) 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

Minimalist Packing for the Fashion Girl

Alright, for context,

currently, I am sipping a cup of coffee while wearing embossed-leather platform booties – with track soles, leather leggings – high-waisted, a cashmere poncho – fringed, a faux fur stole, translucent large-framed glasses and a matte lip colour – “Spice”.  It’s Thursday.  When I got dressed this morning, I was feeling very real Jon Snow meets Jenna Lyons meets Huckleberry Kim vibes, and this is what I came up with.

Fashion is one of my favorite art forms; I think of it, all at once, from a fine art, an applied art, and a very technical design perspective – fashion is the triple threat.  I work in the fashion-tech space where it is not uncommon for me to have to “test” our new product enhancements by shopping #iHaveToitsMyJob.  So, one might think that when traveling, I’d be that girl with the extra large suitcase just for shoes and two more valises for everything else.  I’m simply not that girl.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that if you are!)  I do love to get all dressed up but when traveling my priorities shift exponentially over to my love of new and strange experiences.

I was born this way.

Our minds and bodies work in a certain way, and over the years, I have become very familiar with how this Huckleberry operates (which probably guides a lot of why I’m good a traveling with little).

→ I usually travel alone.

→ I usually leave little time for planning, as I thrive off of spontaneity and swoon for the romanticism of a nomadic life.

→ I don’t have the much upper-body strength; so, if I pick up the bag(s) I intend to travel with and cannot envision carrying them by myself…on at least a mile walk, with the possibility of getting lost, I will go back and edit things out.

everlane_weekender

On my last lengthier trip away, I spent 3 weeks traveling through Europe across a handful of different countries; I brought my Everlane weekender bag and my guitar. Whether it’s a 3-day trip to New York for Fashion Week or a 3-week vacation abroad, I use the same few criteria when deciding what to pack.  Trust & believe: a little bit of thought about these things goes a long way!

Tips for Minimalist Packing.

  • Realize you don’t really need 3 outfit changes for every single day.  Certainly, a few extra outfits don’t hurt,  but c’mon, go enjoy, explore and adventure!  Happiness is the best look you can ever wear anyway!
  • Pack apparel items that can be dressed up or down or day to night.  This is an important one for me since I like to travel more spontaneously with fewer plans. I feel like really great adventures and things happen when you just let them in the moment!  A neutral dress paired with different shoes or accessories can be worn for a casual day out to dinner or a night out partying with all the babes.
  • Even if you’re like me and don’t plan every detail of your trips, you should still have a sense for the proportion of time you’ll spend with different themes of activities.  For example, if you’re going on a backpacking trip in South America for 2 weeks during which you intend to do more active adventuring and a smaller proportion of chilling at the beach, you should probably prioritize items for those activities – maybe rather than adding another cute pair of sandals for a walk on the beach, opt for the extra pair of shoes you can walk a long distance in if your hiking shoes are drying out from the three days you’ll spend chasing waterfalls.  Some themes I like to bucket senses of time into: active-adventure, water-adventures, namaste-active, chill-party, rage-party, fancy-party, sightsee-tourism, lurk-chill, beach-chill…you get the idea.
  • This is so nerdy and a total over-share, but sometimes I’ll make a spreadsheet. I’ll create columns with categories – like Apparel, Footwear, Personal/Beauty, Miscellaneous – to force myself to reasonably visualize what I really want/need to bring.  Believe me, when you’re planning a 4 day trip to New York for work and you see yourself listing out 7 pairs of shoes, you’ll probably think twice!  Be real.  Even if you bring 3, you’ll spend most of your time in 1 or 2.
  • It helps to think about things in the sense of a whole outfit as well. Rather than thinking, I need 5 shirts for this  trip, think: I need 5 outfits for this trip. Five outfits doesn’t necessarily mean 5 of a specific garment type.
  • Remember things happen, you might lose your luggage or spill a bottle of wine on all the things; but you can almost always pick up things at your destinations.  An oversized “I heart Belarus” tee-shirt tucked into your go-to jeans might be super comfortable and cute for an impromptu lurk-chill day.

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I’m heading to Greece in a few days for an almost 2 week stint – Athens and probably Mykonos and Santorini.  Will be traveling with my boyfriend – who, I’m so glad, has similar sensibilities as I do of spontaneous adventuring, partying, and chilling. I’ll probably pack a few hours before I have to head to the airport, but given that it’s summertime, I’ll probably go into packing with the following things bubbling around in my mind:

  • It’s going to be hot → deprioritization of pants.
  • A little bit of all the things → 3 shoe pairs.
  • I want to bring a hat and my guitar.
  • Need to find my passport.

Adventure on, babes.

xx,

Huckleberry Kim

jam of the day:

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.  Had. To.

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.  Had. To. 

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.  Had. To.

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 bf):

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

Fresh New Start: How to Go Platinum Blonde from Dark Hair DIY

I’ve gone platinum blonde once before; previously, I had decided to for 2 reasons:

  1. I was turning 25 and wanted to have pink/purple hair before being officially in my “mid-twenties”
  2. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I wanted to dress up as Sia for that Halloween

I went to my stylist in the East Village; it took 3 days and was an expensive hair investment (my hair was long at the time; see previous length of hair here).  We made it work.  I even went pink for a bit before going back to a more natural dark color #unicorn !

This time, I decided to go platinum blonde because I may not always have the opportunity to go have fun with my locks, so…YOLO. #useitbeforeyaloseit

The difference this time is that I DID IT MYSELF (despite the cautions and worries of my fellow platinum pal, Benjamin of Style Guise).  As of the below photos being taken, I still probably have a few more lightening and tonings I’d like to do, but until then we’re in a good place with not too much breakage and a pretty satisfactory color.  What do you think?

________________________

Tips for DIY hair bleaching and toning (to platinum blonde from dark brown/black hair):

  1. Expect it to be a journey that will take some time; pushing your hair too hard too fast will cause more breakage (this is when your hair becomes to damaged it falls apart, which gives many the concern that their hair is “falling out”).
  2. Get an extra set of hands for help if you can! It’ll help you be more thorough and swift. *When I had long hair, 2-3 stylists at the salon worked on my hair at once to try to make sure the bleach and toners were applied for an equitable amount of time. If you can’t get help, precess your hair in manageable sections and time them closely (e.g. how long it takes to apply the bleach to a section, how long you keep it on for before rinsing)
  3. The lightening processings are largely about time and the volume developer for the bleach powder you use. A high volume developer (40 vol) will be more intense and move your hair up more levels in lightness more quickly. Theres more risk of breakage at that level if you don’t watch it closely (I would generally only leave the bleach + 40 volume in my hair for ~15 minutes max before rinsing to ensure I did not over-process). A 30 volume developer can still lighten your locks, but it’ll take a bit more time, as you can leave it in your hair for a bit longer with less breakage-concern.
  4. Toning is key to get to an ashier, cooler blonde and to get rid of the warmth and brassiness you may see at first.  I did 2 bleach processings before my first toning with the Wella T18 (and toned twice to get to where I’m at in these photos).
  5. Take breaks in between processing your hair!  Your hair will be healthier and thank you for it.  I took a 3 day break in between my first 2 lightenings & tonings before the last two.
  6. Get a toning shampoo/conditioner; it’s a more gentle way that you can maintain your ashy platinum blonde every day while conditioning and cleansing your hair.  I use a popular one listed below.
  7. I prefer using a creme to a clear/liquid developer (I think it mixes up more easily and at a better consistency – the pancake-batter-like consistency that you want for both your bleach cream and your developed toner); here are some of the products I’ve tried and liked using:

Wella 40 volume creme developer | L’Oreal Quick Blue lightening powder | Manic Panic Flash Lightening Kit (40 volume), full kit includes everything you need except for toner; though it doesn’t come with that much bleach/developer so you may need multiple kits if you have a lot of hair like I do | For toning: Wella T18 with a 20 volume developer | Clairol Shimmer Lights | Reusable gloves | Bowl, clip, brush kit |

what i’m wearing:

| everlane turtleneck | veda leggings (soldout, similar) | acne boots (soldout, similar) | céline phantom (similar pre-owned)

similar boots:

similar leather leggings:

 

Have you tried lightening or coloring your own hair?  Please, share your tips and suggestions in the comments below!

xx,

Huckleberry Kim

A Huckleberry Coco Loco Recipe

IMG_3984

I heard coconuts are really good for you.  I’m not sure if it still counts if you add the below accoutrements…but I’m still counting the 10 coconuts I’ve consumed in the last week towards my health goals.

My favorite tropical cocktail the “Coco Loco” is usually made by blending an array of spirits (rum, tequila, vodka) with lemon juice, simple syrup and the juice from a fresh young coconut with some ice and pouring back into the coconut shell and serving with a straw.  I usually like my cocktails like my favorite people: strong and straight-up. So checkout my version of the refreshing cocktail!

Huckleberry Kim’s Coco Loco Cocktail Recipe

  • 3 oz. fresh coconut juice
  • 1 oz. tequila
  • 1 oz. rum
  • 0.5 oz vodka
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • ice
  • 3 mint leaves
  1. Muddle a few mint leaves with ice in a cocktail shaker
  2. Crack open fresh coconut and add 3 oz. to shaker (reserve remaining juice for another cocktail)
  3. Add in spirits and simple syrup
  4. Stir down for ~60 seconds in shaker
  5. With a hawthorne strainer, pour back into coconut shell (or cocktail glass if you don’t have fresh ‘nuts)
  6. ENJOY! Sit back, sip, and feel your heart rate come to a relaxing 65 BPM ;P

Fun fact: Coco Locos are even better paired with shrimp and octopus tacos with a side of habanero salsa!

IMG_3985

xx, Huckleberry Kim


song of the moment:
the girl from ipanema

#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 easiest circumstances.

IMG_1241_small-1024x682

As of about three days ago, the place is quite run down and clearly has been abandoned for some time.  Though its bones remain intact – undoubtedly surviving through many storms and wild inhabitants* – it is, now, definitely a ghost of its full and lively past.  I’ve seen it: the cute young family that lived in one of the main yurts on the property – they’re gone.  No longer does it host young so-in-love couples ready to elope in its wake.   No longer is it as easy on the eyes nor so easy to be completely enamored by.

IMG_4061

 

Looking at it now, some might think this little bungalow has let go its final death rattle, but I don’t think so.  I still love it, even in its imperfect dilapidated state.  It may never be a reoccupied nest of love (and impeccable design) that it once was, but even in its 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.

If you won’t love something at its worst, you don’t 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…

A Huckleberry Haircut

The times they are a-changin’ y’all.  I’m probably going to have to start styling my own hair again for the next few years. FUN FACT: I used to cut all the boys & girls hairs in my university dormitory freshman year.  I was compensated with wine (of higher value to college freshman than any other currency).  I might also reopen the Huckleberry Hair Salon…bring wine. ;P

Enjoy!

Huckleberry Kim

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