Monday, November 28, 2016

Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

^Thanksgiving weekend 2016

It just entered the most wonderful time of the year. And not just because it includes Christmas music and copious amounts of treats and decadent platters and lots of shared joy with loved ones... but because it's time. Oh yes indeedy. It is time. Time to break out the good stuff.

Spring and summer clothes put peps in my step and let me play out the part of the carefree hippie I'm not when it comes to dress. Fall is spectacular with its neutral colored knits and shades of orange. But if you ask me, winter is where it's at (and yes, I'm fully aware it's not officially winter at all - not even close - but unofficially, it starts after Thanksgiving for me). I love dark, fuzzy, furry big jackets. I love bright and deep shades of lipstick. And I love topping it all off with a pair of sunglasses. Rocking around on a sunny yet cold wintry day in that get-up is my favorite thing in all the land.

So happy this time of year is here!
I hope to blog on somewhat of a normal pace. Work has been great but has reached a level of time suck that I can't even explain - early in the morning at home, all day at the office and continues later on at home again on my couch OR involved after work meetings. #busyseason 

Anyway, I hope you're doing okay on arguably the most depressing Monday in the entire year.
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Monday, November 21, 2016

Peep My Closet

I'm certainly excited that it's a short week (even though I know I have an insanely busy work day today and tomorrow). This last weekend, it rained from Friday - Sunday. I'm talking a good ol' fashioned, Portland style drizzle that didn't let up. While it did make for some miserable dog walks on Saturday & Sunday mornings (the kind where you're half asleep in pouring rain and only realize your shoes aren't waterproof as soon as you feel water trickling into your toes...), it also made for some productive activity around the house. First off, we didn't grocery shop and rather made all our meals from frozen items in the freezer. We are planning to make room for expected leftovers on Thursday so we gallantly carved out some space and enjoyed soups and dinners that we had frozen awhile ago. And secondly, I cleaned out my closet.

Our house has (3) walk-in closets. Which is pretty much a godforsaken dream and one of the many reasons we chose this spot in August. I mean, I get my own walk-in, Jay get's his own walk-in and then we have an extra one for storage. Talk about a dream situation for city dwellers.  When we moved into our current home, my closet (the largest one) was used as kind of a staging area and unknown bags and boxes were thrown up on the shelves, never to be touched again. I knew I needed to eventually sift through everything and see what was in there - and a rainy weekend afforded me the motivation to do so. So here's my closet now. Not Kardashian glam room by any stretch of the imagination, but I quite love it.

^my closet has built-in shelves on one side of the wall which I use to store some camera items, daily jewelry and photos.

^I got that hamper at Home Goods and just love the size and design. We don't have laundry in-unit and have to go outside and down two flights of stairs to the machines to wash our clothes. Therefore, this prettier thing remains in the closet and I load up a utilitarian laundry basket for the actual trek. Keeping that portable laundry basket empty unless it's in use is a lot harder than I imagined.
^I used to love a bunch of framed pictures all over my house. Now, I'm way pickier when it comes to the style. On that note, I'm not into mattless, black, basic frames anymore for decor. But these images make me happy (of my family, my siblings, my grandmother...). So I've hung them all up in my closet so i can look at them while I get ready. They're out for me yet tucked away as to not diminish the look I'm going for in the other rooms.
^My clothes are organized by style/functionality. We start with sleeveless blouses/tops (because otherwise they have a way of disappearing in the folds of everything else and I never know I own them), then blouses/tops, followed-by skirts, then pants, then suit jackets, then big sweaters, then dresses and lastly, shoes.
^Shoes are kind of the bane of my existence when it comes to city storage. I have mine organized a few ways. One of which is a classic shoe rack like above and then I also have a big steel bin holding more.
^Boots sit up top in order to stand at their full potential.
^Boots standing tall, photos that bring me joy surrounding, items stored in boxes around.
^Bins (from Daiso) housing hats, scarfs and purses.
^My jewelry cat which aides me in quickly dismantling my work look.
^In my closet, looking out into the hall.
^This guy always hung outside in our backyard when I grew up. I always told my parents that I wanted it because it reminds me of home. The good news is that they gave it to me (take that, siblings!). The bad news is that I don't have any outdoor space and it doesn't go with anything in my house so I ain't putting it out there (and really, never once wanted it for indoor use). So for now, it's tucked right above my door in the interior of my closet. I get to see it, it's stored out of the way and it makes me happy when I get dressed in the morning. A perfect solution until I can hang it on an outdoor shed sometime in the future when I live outside of 500 feet.
^This is my house hair. Forever and always. Organically messy buns on top of my head and fastened with a clip so it doesn't dent.
^My getting ready space and personal storage center. 

Having our own caves to store our items and get ready is pretty dang magical. His shirts are never draped on top of my heels and he has the freedom to bask in his more minimalism approach when it comes to clothes. I'm really happy to call this little space mine.

Have a great Monday!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mt. Tamalpais | SF, CA

Sometimes you just have to get the heck out of dodge. And by that I mean, have someone else remind you that there is life outside the city and it's worth packing up to visit. You don't even have to dress up when you go there, imagine that? That's something I only note because the few times I opt to run around San Francisco in lazy wear, I'm reminded that this is not the place to do so. Everyone else is always so done-up so I'm never in good company as a weekend slob. Oops.

But back to gittin' outta dodge: That's exactly what happened last weekend when my MIL was in town. While we took her around proper in SF on Saturday, she had told us that a dream of hers was to hike Mt. Tamalpais on Sunday. So that is what we surely did. After swilling back hot coffee and munching on bagels, we all loaded into my BIL's car to head about 30 minutes north into Marin. 
 ^Over the river and through the woods, to Mt. Tamalpais we go...
  ^I need to post on Jay's style evolution here soon. I've slowly but surely been adding pieces to his look and I'm so in love with it.
^We braved gorgeous tree canopies with sun soaked beams flying through.
^And stared at scenery that looked like it should have Julie Andrews prancing atop it, arms open wide
^We admired new vegetation.
^And pressed onward as we moved higher and higher and into an even better view.
^See San Francisco back there?
 ^My BIL taking in the view from the top.
 ^We did it.
^Chandler was a wee bit tired...
^Yet, very happy indeed- ha!
 ^I got to spend some QT with this great lady.
 ^View of the Pacific Ocean on the descent.

Bars, cafes, boutiques and restaurants are all very nice - but it's hard to beat this kinda day. Especially when the sky is bright blue and the sun is shining. It's nice to be reminded of that.
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Monday, November 14, 2016

President Trump

The election taught me that I live in a bubble. 

That's not to say that my bubble is better than your bubble. Or your bubble is better than my bubble. Or that anyone's bubble is worth more than anyone else's. It's just to say that I lived in my own world. Because I really did not see the end result coming and I truly didn't think it was plausible that he would win.

I want to be very clear about a couple things. 1) I generally do not like to post online about politics but this election warrants a venting session. And 2) that as I've aged, I've found myself more in the middle of the road when it comes to politics. I love the ideals of the democratic party but I think they're best met when challenged against conservatism. I think somewhere in the middle is where we want to be. I am not a fan of extremes and think checks and balances are the way to go. In fact, I like people with a healthy dose of skepticism. I think the biggest problem in politics is when people are so blindly loyal to their party that they can't reasonably envision a solution that deters from that narrative. Anyone who places 100% blame on someone but refuses to give them an ounce of credit for good they have done is the type of political peer I try to avoid. I strive to utilize that reasonable approach when I look at the political sphere.

I've always liked Donald Trump. The TV Trump. The NYC businessman Trump. The AGREES-TO-BE-ROASTED Trump (anyone who agrees to be the subject of a Comedy Central roast is far braver than me). The helps-Kevin-Mcallister-find-the-lobby Trump (do you think I would fail to mention that blessed movie?) He was amusing. Direct. Funny. I think that started to sizzle with the birther movement. It wasn't just what he was asking but the repugnant way he went about it that made me see him in a different light. And those qualities not only continued but seemed to be on steroids as he ran to be our president. I started to feel appalled as things fell out of his mouth. I was particularly horrified at him diminishing the judge, insulting the Khans and mocking the disabled reporter (please tell me he will at some point apologize for that last one. It was beyond low). Living in a city, I am surrounded by ample diversity in every form. It enhances San Francisco, it doesn't depreciate it. A melting pot of backgrounds is what makes this city so vibrant. With that in mind, I just assumed most everyone else was surely seeing the same thing I was from this candidate.
^My text chain of like-minded girlfriends made the day pretty exciting. We all sent each other pics in the morning of us in our pantsuits as we scooted off to work.

But they weren't. And somewhere along the way, I not only failed to notice the strong message from Trump that others apparently did but I went deaf to the idea that anyone else was even hearing one at all

But, evidently, they were.

I had long decided to work from home the day after the election. Partly to avoid the negative discourse that was sure to be rampant but also because I figured I would need some quiet reverie to absorb the fact that we had just elected a female president. Turns out, I needed the day to simply digest what had happened at all. Because I woke up feeling exactly like this political cartoon. What had just happened? And how had it happened?

^Jay and I met up downtown at lunch to hit the polls. Our buildings are literally direct neighbors, which is so random considering we are in way different industries and the enormity of the city. But it's such a treat.

I've come to this conclusion: It is what it is at this point. I respect the process and I accept him as my president because he was rightfully voted in and very much earned his win. I hope campaign Trump is different than President Trump. I really hope I'm wrong about what I'm picturing in my head. I hope he succeeds. I hope he's a wonderful president. I hope he can bring his business acumen into the system in a positive way. I hope much of his campaign trail was an act. I hope he values diversity as a lifelong New Yorker inherently should.

The people have spoken and I'm willing to listen. I won't stand for anything that reflects a "fear of the other" and I'm ready to speak against anything that looks remotely like it. Buuuuuut, I'll start with an open mind because we have not seen him as president just yet. So I'm nervous, sad and still a bit perplexed - but I'm rooting for him. I'm rooting for him because I'm rooting for us. I have to be able to say that I gave him a chance. And really, he deserves a chance because the American people gave him one.

^Sparkles in my eyes that morning to see a lady do the d*mn thing.

Please do us proud. All of us. Every last one of us.

And for goodness sake, apologize to the reporter.

[and thank you, Hillary. For nobly making herstory and igniting a fire. Casting a vote for you made me walk a little taller that day.]
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Friday, November 11, 2016

Little Things Lately ...

Flabbergasted// At how the bridge never gets old. I see it every day - whether up close from our neighborhood or in the distance from my office. Yet still, it gives me butterflies in my stomach. How magical. We explored it last week on foot and it was just all sorts of jaw-on-the-floor, can't-believe-this-bridge-is-our-neighbor fun.

Totally into// Coffee table books. I want to find one really good one. Just one thick, chic, quality, fat book to sit right on my coffee table. The hunt is ongoing and I've got my spear in hand.

Noshing// On Mediterranean food. What is it with hummus? Why is it so d*mn good. Especially coupled with feta and vinegars and onions and tomatoes... perfecto. Get me to the Greek!

Sick of // Missing the bus or racing to it in the morning. I have been on a bad streak where I come out and the bus is pulling away. They come about every 7 minutes so it's not technically that big of a deal- but d*mnit, it's annoying as h*ll. You can't NOT try and get to it - so I've been starting my days sprinting and it's not been my favorite thing to do in heeled boots. Note to SF: Please find a way to upgrade your public transit - this bus thing gets old and I miss my quiet little Portland Streetcar commute (I also could do a better job of tracking when it's coming on my phone in the morning but I'd rather just blame SF/the universe as a whole since that's easier).

Cuddling// With a little monkey! One of our visitors from our 5 weekends of guests was one of my favorite gals ever and her little son who is a year next month. Surreal, sweet, fun and blissful to have her over at my SF home while holding her little squirmy boy. 

Delaying // A DMV visit and a computer repairman search for an old hard drive. I need to deal with both things and they're just annoying tasks to embark on so I keep putting off like a fool. Maybe if they made these places a little more exciting... I mean, this is why people hate the DMV.

Stoked// That my very own hair is growing longer, longer, longer. I've never let it keep going and I'm proud of the progress it has made. I love how it sounds like I'm talking about either my hair, a pet or a viable bill on the ballot.

Voted // on Tuesday. And let's discuss that next week (albeit briefly and kindly!).

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Just Like Any Other Day

Today I will rise early.
I will drink my coffee and check my email from my kitchen table.
I'll then shower under abnormally hot water and, as I lather up, I'll watch the mist evaporate out the window and up into the chilly fall elements.
Just like I do any day.
I'll take a bumpy bus from my neighborhood to the financial district.
I'll answer a plethora of work calls.
I'll sit in conference rooms and engage with peers.
I'll grumble with my colleagues about something or other.
We'll laugh about how stressed we are.
Just like we do every other day.
I'll GChat with Jay about dinner plans.
I'll tell myself to avoid eye contact with the leftover halloween candy in the kitchen.
I'll look outside at the tops of skyscrapers that fall below our floor as I wait for my copies to emerge.
I'll run my fingers through my bangs.
I'll sip cups of lemon tea while I type away.
I'll reapply my lipstick 50 times.
Just like any other day.
It will be just like any other day at work.
And hopefully, it will be the last one with that pesky ceiling above me.

Happy election day, America! 
Almost over!
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Monday, November 7, 2016

North Beach Restaurant | SF, CA

Why, hello there! If anyone is keeping count, it's been a few days since I've posted on here. And if you're wondering where I've been - I can dispense two quick justifications. 1) Gearing up for our bussssyyyyy season at work and 2) We have had guests visiting/staying with us the last 5 weekends. The last 5! Don't get me wrong, it has been a whirlwind of fun, adventure and towel laundry but yes, it has also meant I have had not had room for much else. Work, work, work, work, work, host, host, host, host, repeat. This weekend was our first without company in as much time and it finally gave me a chance to catch my breath. So let's just dive into Friday.

After heading straight from work to the hair salon on Friday, I felt the need to go out later in the spirit of weekend toasting and the fact that I had just got muh hair did. But where to go? I came home hungry (shocking) and wasn't in the mood for anything too rowdy. Therefore, fresh out of the shower and in between mascara application with a video game playing husband next to me, I made late night reservations at North Beach Restaurant and told my husband we were leaving in 10.

The night swiftly became a very quintessential city evening. Eating dinner at 10 PM. Engaging with waiters who drape cloths over their arms and refer to you as "ma'am" and "sir". Listening to opera tunes. Ordering in a splurgey manner without regard to calories or cost. And you know what? It was warranted. Sometimes it's nice to just throw some money and time at your relationship. And there's really no place better to do that than here. Especially if you're into that whole classically Italian thing (and if you're not, I am severely concerned for your wellbeing).

^Hands down- the loveliest, fanciest, old world dining experience in North Beach.
^Does my bread look like an alligator's mouth to anyone else besides me?
^We may be TGIF'ing but the work days continues into the night
^My memoir will either be titled "Too Many ****ing Pics" or "Smiles At Food Like A Fat Idiot".
^Jay likely shoving another election poll in my face.
^"What's the Patti del Giorno?" "It's the dish of the day." "Mmm, that sounds good. I'll have that."
^What is it with bread and olive oil? Makes me want to rip my clothes off. 
^I call this piece: "A Sh***y Picture of Pasta" OR "A Great Pic of Jay's Shirt"
^North Beach is the best (as is my dinner date). We would have moved here so fast but didn't find anything conducive.
^I got the Linguine with Fresh Clams
^Jay got the Spaghetti Carbonara
^"The End Is Near" via Time. I cannot believe that this crazy election ends TOMORROW. Brace, America. Brace. I'm sending hugs to everyone - we can all use a little love.

I told Jay to not think of it as an expensive dinner but rather a cheap flight to Italy. Classic. Old world. Cozy AF [nice wording as I talk about elegance..., right?]. Lovely.

The best. I mean - il migliore!
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