Mar 23, 2014

Kalita Wave Series

After J broke our Hario V60 Range Server for the second time, he decided to look into other options for our morning coffee routine. Enter, the Kalita Wave series. Now, our new system is not exactly unbreakable, but it's nice to change it up once in a while. (See my post from a few months ago on the coffee gear I use every day.)

I've been enjoying working out the kinks of the new system. We started with the small dripper but realized it was a little too small for two people, especially on a groggy Monday morning. The nice thing about the little guy is that it really forces you to pulse your pours, instead of dumping a heap of water onto your grounds at once. We ended up getting the larger dripper, which suits us much better. The Kalita server is also quite pretty, I think. Overall, the system looks a bit more sleek and modern than the V60.

We've also recently been getting our beans from Papa Lin's. They offer some truly special beans (you might get sticker shock from some of them), and they genuinely care about their products. They roast to order and ship the next day, and then follow up with you to see how you liked the beans and roast.

P.S. A great video on the system at work. (Though I don't personally use such a high ratio of beans to water!)

Mar 20, 2014

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

After a strenuous day at Machu Picchu, there's no better place to kick back and relax than the Inkaterra hotel, which is just a bus ride down from the Incan ruins. It doesn't get much dreamier than sitting by one of the fireplaces in the communal spaces with a Pisco Sour in hand. I remember heading back to my room after a drink and climbing under the covers, jumping up when I felt the round mound under my covers, and then being totally delighted when I realized housekeeping had left a hot water bottle under the covers to warm up the bed! It's these little details that always get me.

Above: My room and overall shots of the property.
Below: Some photos of the common areas.

I also got a nice peek at one of the larger suites, which had its own private outdoor shower and heated dipping pool in the backyard (!!). If you're feeling particularly indulgent, you can also book a treatment at the Unu spa. I had a nice massage there after a day at Machu Picchu and I cannot recommend it more.

Disclosure: This stay was part of my South America trip that was provided by LAN Airlines.

Mar 9, 2014

Green and blue

This is officially the most amount of color I've worn all year. I recently splurged on a MaxMara coat for spring (well, actually two coats, but that's a story for another day), and I don't know why I've waited so long to invest in better-made outerwear. This one is made of a double face fabric of wool, angora, and cashgora and is perfect for the transition to spring.

The kind folks at Everlane sent me the Petra Magazine Tote in one of their new spring colors (which will come out this Wednesday). I'm very picky and admittedly a snob when it comes to my handbag portfolio, but this is a bag of understated luxury, at a friendlier price point, that I'm excited to add to my rotation. The workmanship is excellent and it looks much more expensive than it is. I especially love the bit of slouch the leather has, since most of my other bags are very structured.

As a side note, I'm also really enjoying RGB nail polishes - from my limited experience with them so far, they seem to last much longer and are not as prone to chipping as many of the other brands I've tried (the moon manicure I posted on my ring post lasted over a week). The one I'm wearing here is 'Violet'.

And as a final camera-related aside, these photos made me realize how great the dynamic range of the Sony a7r is. We shot in direct sunlight and managed to retain all highlight and shadow detail despite the fact that the wall was white and I was wearing dark clothing.

Coat / Tote / Jeans / Sweater (old Theory) / Shoes

Mar 4, 2014

KEX Hostel

Yikes, it's been a year since I took these photos during my trip to Iceland, but I figure, better late than never. On the last day of our trip, we made a pit stop at the KEX Hostel in downtown Reykjavik. It's housed in an old biscuit factory, so there is a load of industrial charm. Our stop was only meant to be a quick tour, but we all found ourselves gasping at the rich details in every room and all the found props and knick knacks. Naturally, I couldn't stop myself from shooting it all. I hate to put it this way, but it was a bit like "Brooklyn meets Icelandic cool" in terms of the design elements.

KEX offers a variety of dorm arrangements, from bunk-bed style rooms to more private ones. There are a number of common areas, all carefully decorated with the same industrial retro chic factor. A year later, as more of a curmudgeon, I almost feel that the trendiness is a bit much. Don't get me wrong - it's an aesthetic I enjoy and all, but sometimes I wish not everything looked like the Brooklyn stereotype.

There was some beautiful light that day, that's for sure.