WO: Weekly Obsessions

Raise your hand if your brackets are busted 🙋🏻 Thanks a heap, Wisconsin and South Carolina. Aside from ripping paper to shreds, here’s what else I’ve been into lately:

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. NOT These Boots: San Francisco’s wonky weather patterns continue, and yesterday’s monsoon retired these Chooka rain boots faster than you can say “shit.” I purchased them in 2014, but have worn them no more than 10 times, so it was a total disappointment and waste of money. Here’s hoping these highly rated Sam Edelman booties will serve me better.
  2. Rusted Mule: I was thrilled to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday last night with drinks at Rusted Mule and dinner at The Saratoga. While both were phenomenal, I’m prioritizing Rusted Mule for its newness and happy hour specials. It opened less than two months ago and feels tucked away, while still getting a good mix of people. Bonus: Taco Tuesday was truly tasty and the Yelp reviews are crazy entertaining!
  3. Surprise Meetups: After a killer workout this morning, I was sore but super excited to volunteer at the SF-Marin Food Bank with some co-workers. Little did I know, my former team at macys.com was volunteering, too! It was such a pleasure seeing familiar faces — some new ones, too! — and I loved catching up with them all. Giving back + surprise meetups = win-win.
  4. “It Ain’t Me” – Kygo f. Selena Gomez: I had no clue who Kygo was (still don’t) but I DID know this earworm was stuck, stuck, stuck in my head for days on end. I also barely know the difference between Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, but I do know there’s a ton of talent in this tune and you should certainly listen.


Images courtesy of: Me, Scoopnest, Me, Direct Lyrics

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should know…
16. How to fall in love without losing yourself.

Author Melissa de la Cruz kicks off the second half of The List, which focuses on what you should know by 30, rather than what you should have.

Once again, we start in the relationship arena. Le sigh.

She tells a fictional, purely hypothetical tale of a young woman named Jess, who is interesting and carries herself with grace and confidence. Who wouldn’t want to be — or be with — Jess?

Unfortunately, Jess falls victim to that head-over-heels love where your life becomes all but consumed with your partner’s interests. Through a string of alliterative aliases, boyfriends range from Baseball Billy to Hipster Harry. I think we can all see where this fairy tale is headed.

With each one, Jess invests herself into the relationships so fully, she loses her identity. She goes from buying World Series tickets to dressing in sci-fi costumes to cutting her hair; and as each relationship ends, she’s left as a shell of the woman she used to be… and without many friends who’ve stuck around.

The point of this fable is, quite obviously, to remain confident in who you are — not change your core values for someone else. Can you like the music a partner introduced you to? Of course. Can you genuinely enjoy sports if you’ve never been into them before? I think so. The point is, rather, to not sacrifice what you already are passionate about for your partner’s interests… especially if you already know you don’t share those interests.

Some of the couples I envy most are those which can enjoy separate passions, and allow each other the space to do so. It’s something I’ve strived for in my own relationships, and have seen varying levels of success.

Courtesy of ExplodingDog.com

“I hate how you’ve changed.”

While I don’t take falling in love lightly, the relationship I found most meaningful grew from a shared love of some things: reading, sarcasm and baseball, for example. We introduced each other to new books and enjoyed watching games together, but we also allowed — nay, expected — one another to have separate passions.

Sure, he introduced me to new music and I showed him new restaurants. But we didn’t spend all of our time together, and there wasn’t any resentment for wanting to have our own “thing.”

I saw markedly more success in that relationship than in the one before it, where I tried to enjoy video games in an effort to spend more time together. Turns out, my love for them remains at about a Mario Kart level.

And while I didn’t resent him for being passionate about something different, I think it was challenging for him to understand how I couldn’t be so excited about this thing he loved. I encouraged him to still participate in game nights and tournaments, because he enjoyed it, but I wasn’t going to sit and watch for hours on end without having the slightest interest.

All this is to say, we each have our own passions… and non-negotiables. For some couples, it works very well to work in the same industry (or at the same company), to have the same hobbies, to share all of the same friends. For others, myself included, it works to have some sense of independence and social circles.

I’m clearly no expert, but I think approach it however it will make you happy — without sacrificing who you are at your core.

Courtesy of Pinterest

WO: Weekly Obsessions

The mid-week back-to-work struggle is real, people. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more envious of those with Spring Breaks than I am today. And without my dear friend caffeine by my side, it’s safe to say I’ll be asleep by 8 tonight.

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. “Grease” Sing-along: The Castro Theatre has done it again — this time, with everyone’s favorite bad-boy-meets-good-girl story. My cousin and I went with a friend Friday night, and I still have some of the songs stuck in my head. From the impossible glow sticks to the kissy noises, I’m convinced there’s no better way to watch a musical than with props and a sing-along show.
  2. Hot Cookie: This might be the most iconic dessert spot in all of SF. Nestled in the heart of the Castro district, Hot Cookie has some verrry NSFW nibbles that are as scrumptious as they are scandalous. I personally love the Butch Bar and the Sticky Nikki. Yeah, you heard me.
  3. Anchor Brewing: My dad would have been 67 on Monday, so to celebrate, we toured Anchor Brewing and raised a glass in his honor. Ryan led us on an interactive and engaging walk, then poured us many samples to enjoy. It’s something I know Slick Rick would have loved. Cheers, big guy.
  4. Season Finales: I’ll never understand the need to post spoilers on social media — particularly as I’m on that West Coast delay for most programming — so I won’t get specific. But this week’s finales for both “The Bachelor” and “This Is Us” were disappointing. One didn’t give me the ending I so craved, while the other was too long and drawn-out. I’ll let you guess which is which 😉  Here’s hoping the next seasons of both don’t leave us hanging too long.

Images courtesy of: Carpe Diem, Twitter, PlumpJack, iEmoji

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should have…
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

Legendary anchor and journalist Katie Couric writes us into our halfway point this week. She begins by telling us she spent her 20s focused on her career, allowing work to take priority over her love life.

Sound familiar?

I don’t know if it’s because women are becoming more vocal, or because we have social platforms to have more public discussion, or because I’m nearing the end of my 20s myself, or some combination of the above… or none of those things at all.

I do know it’s a constant conversation among my circles for women to feel like they must choose one over the other: career or love?

Courtesy of MyStyleProject.com

 

Part of this is, unquestionably, biology. If we meet a partner at 25 and marry by 27, we still have some “good years” left in us to have children. Men, on the other hand, can possess none of Mick Jagger’s millions and have children well into their 70s.

Putting that aside, there’s also an expectation for most, if not all, women: We should want to have children. If we don’t, there must be something wrong with us. Or we just don’t know it yet. Or we haven’t found the right person (because who would ever choose to be a single mother?). As I once heard from a wise mother of two, “Any fool can have a baby.” Yet there’s still this need from society for all women to become mothers.

I’m getting deeper than Couric’s message was, but I felt it a necessary piece of the Career vs. Love debate: So much of this boils down to a woman’s choices and her desire to put herself first.

Courtesy of ClipArtKid.com

As I’ve often discussed on this very blog, and IRL ad nauseam, I’ve put my career ahead of most other things. In my seven-point-five years since undergrad, I’ve sacrificed some friendships, ended some romantic relationships, often worked tirelessly without need of recognition — and as long as I could get to a certain career milestone before 30, it’d all be worth it.

I’ll hit that career milestone on Thursday, as my role in my current company shifts. And you know what? I don’t know yet that it was worth it. Sure, I’m thrilled to hit this arbitrary goal I set so long ago. But I still question my career choices often and wonder where my next years will take me after this hurdle is overcome.

Part of that may be my inability to be completely satisfied. And while I should save that for a therapy session, I do question if accomplishing this career goal means I can finally ease my foot off the go-getter gas a little and refocus on romantic relationships. If I can allow myself to be loved, to be taken care of, to let my walls down and be vulnerable again.

Couric even briefly touches on losing her first husband to cancer, and how “the ability to accept and adapt gracefully to life’s twist and turns is one of the greatest skills you’ll learn.”

I know the ride’s not over yet, but I’m certainly going to buckle up for the journey ahead.

Courtesy of PinkSkySerendipity.com

 

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Happy International Women’s Day! I hope you’re all able to celebrate the women in your lives every day, but especially so today. If you’re anything like me, you dug out your LRD and toasted the fab females you’re lucky to love 😉

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. Shannon’s visiting!: Hot off the heels of my former roomie’s visit, my cousin Shannon arrives tomorrow! It’ll be her first trip to California and I hope to make it a memorable one. She always brings out the big kid in me, and I always… well, I always entertain her with my impatience for tourists. Just look at those mischievous smirks — it should be a hoot!
  2. Beach Blanket Babylon: As much as I don’t love tourists or touristy things, I will happily see this campy, historical revue in SF anytime! I took Erica last week and am excited to return tomorrow night with Shannon. The hats and humor are outrageous, the songs are fantastic and it truly is a can’t-miss experience.
  3. JLSF March Madness Kickoff Party: As Provisional (AKA first-year) members of the Junior League of San Francisco, we put on a fundraiser for the League. Our March Madness Kickoff Party is next Thursday, March 16, and is sure to be a success. We’ll have a silent auction, wine pull, photo booth and games — what’s not to love? Get your tickets (or make a donation) here.
  4. “Girls” – Beyoncé: This isn’t my fave of Beyoncé’s body of work, but there is arguably no better female anthem than this. Top five, at least. I heard it blasting in my barre class this morning, on my Chariot ride to work (props to Maria for the lady power!), and am pumping it now for good vibes only. Who run this mother?

Images courtesy of: FB, FunCheapSF, JLSF, Billboard

30 Before 30

In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”

The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.

By 30, you should have…
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.

Actress, model and all-around superwoman Angie Harmon wrote this week’s response to The List, and she addresses the ever-present promise of growing older: how to look good while doing it.

I’ve paraphrased Harmon’s “10 tricks for looking fierce at any age, especially the one you are now” below and added my own commentary (of course):

1. Eat foods that are good for you…
This is plain and simple — the more fresh, natural, unprocessed foods you consume, the more your body will thank you. I finally learned this myself with my recent month-long challenge at removing caffeine, alcohol and added/artificial sugar from my diet. Do I still crave and consume pizza, fried foods and other junk? Of course. But I’m a hell of a lot more cognizant about where all of that is going to end up, even if I sweat myself silly at the gym.

2. Make friends with the elliptical machine…
Speaking of the gym, Harmon glorifies the do-it-all elliptical, of which I’ve been a longtime fan. Now, because I live in SF and boutique classes are much more “in,” I’ve tried my hand at boot camps and barre in recent years. But the good, old-fashioned elliptical certainly torches calories and works multiple muscle groups faster than most classes a gym can offer.

3. Buy swimsuits that fit.
If you’ve seen any episode of “What Not to Wear,” ever, you know fit is the most important component to fashion. You can have beautiful pieces, but if they don’t fit well, they won’t maximize your potential. Similarly, if you’re trying to squeeze into a swimsuit from summers long ago, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Forget about the number on the tag and focus on fit: You won’t regret giving your body the support, coverage, or whatever it needs to feel fabulous!

Courtesy of FLDermDoc.com

4. You need to exfoliate for young-looking skin.
This tried-and-true beauty tip is timeless for a reason: It works. Even with my sensitive skin, exfoliating a few times a week brightens and tightens my face and neck like nothing else can. I invested in a Clarisonic a few years ago (thanks, Macy’s discount!) and rotate through various face washes, depending on my needs. The satisfaction of seeing the crap that comes off your face is just a bonus.

5. Never underestimate the power of a bright lipstick.
I haven’t ever been much of a lipstick, or lipgloss fan, for that matter. Except for a few years of middle school experimentation, I tend to keep my lips bare. But I see Harmon’s point and have never failed to receive compliments the few times I bust out a bold red or pouty pink. PS, if you have a crave-worthy color I should try, let me know!

6. Sun protection is a must, always…
There’s absolutely no arguing this one — sunscreen is a vital component to everyone’s skin regimen. I personally prefer buying moisturizers and foundation with SPF for foolproof normal days, and I add on sweatproof sunblock for days I’m outside more. Even in the overcast climate of SF, there’s no better shield for your skin than slathering on this stuff.

Courtesy of OdysseyOnline.com

7. Let your moisturizer sink in…
Of all the beauty advice I’ve read over the years, I don’t recall coming across this one, but Harmon suggests letting your moisturizer sit for three minutes before moving on to your next step. I’ve tried it for all of one day, so I can’t speak to the results yet, but the quickest of Google searches shows her advice is worth taking.

8. Reconsider your beauty routine…
Just as our bodies change with time, so does our hair and skin texture and color. The curls I wanted so desperately during my stick-straight years have finally come, and the color has changed — often with help from a professional — countless times. These changes require different products, treatments and care… if we learned nothing else from “Legally Blonde,” we should all be aware of our hair (and skin) care needs.

9. Know there’s always going to be something about your body you’re not going to like…
Although our beauty standards have progressed by leaps and bounds, there’s still much work to do in self-love and care. I’ll probably never be 100% satisfied with my stomach, for example, but other women would kill for my chest. We want curly hair until we have it. We want thinner limbs but ignore the strength of our own. It’s cliché for a reason: We want what we don’t have. Accepting what we DO have, however, never gets old. Love the body you’re in. Be grateful for it. Accept the things that make you unique, because you’re perfect just the way you are.

Courtesy of Pinterest

10. There will be times when self-acceptance comes less easily…
As Harmon notes, there are going to be days when you just can’t seem to accept the things that irk you most about your body. And that’s OK, too. Spanx and concealer and baseball hats are all helpful tools in getting through a blah day. You don’t have to suck it up and smile, but it is ideal to know what your go-to is on those days so you’re not stuck falling down a rabbit hole of envying others.

Now, Christina and TLC, play me out!

WO: Weekly Obsessions

I remember when I first started these WOs years ago, how I made the genius decision to post them on Wednesdays. “Weekly” and “Wednesday” were a natural fit, obvs. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with myself on a regular basis for that decision, as I often find myself wondering what day it even is, and I have these WOs to keep my head on straight.

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. That Oscars Snafu: As lengthy as the Academy Awards always run, everyone was glued to their sets in the final moments of this year’s show. I loved the snack parachutes, the speeches, the unsuspecting tourists — but all we can talk about is the major mistake by PwC partner Brian Cullinan. And while I’m sure he feels like a total buffoon for botching the film industry’s biggest award, maybe he’ll think twice the next time he tweets. Bonus: Steve Harvey can rest a little easier now.
  2. Erica’s visiting!: My former NYC roomie, whom I met on our study abroad to London and Ireland, comes to visit tomorrow! I couldn’t be more excited to show her around SF and recreate our many gut-busting montages. Whether we’re bottomless brunching, quoting “Clueless” or just generally being hilarious, I have no doubt we’ll have a blast. Sonasaaaa!
  3. Ash Wednesday: It’s that time of year, folks! Not to mention, the most memorable Wednesday of the year. You’ve seen us crazy Catholics, no doubt, parading around with ashes on our foreheads — despite the Lenten lesson being to NOT tell people you’re suffering 😫  I burned my wrist on my curling wand this morning, so it’s safe to say I did not give up swear words. Here’s hoping the next 40ish days are restorative and reflective for us all.
  4. Laugh Tracks – Grief Thief: I’m fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly talented people — one of whom is the lead vocalist, guitarist, and man responsible for the music and lyrics on this album. Have a listen at GriefThief.com, and throw a fiver their way for the full experience. I missed their show last weekend but will be sure to catch the next set… I couldn’t be happier for Richard and the Grief Thief guys!

Images courtesy of: Hollywood Reporter, FB, St. Mark’s, Grief Thief