I’ve sat down to write non-WO posts time after time, but I can’t seem to get the words out. There are a multitude of topics I want to cover; and yet, I can’t push through the pain, frustration or sheer madness of it all. Until this wave of emotion subsides, here’s what else is on my mind:
- Salesian Boys’ & Girls’ Club: I recently volunteered for Junior League SF at the Salesian Boys’ & Girls’ Club during their 4th Annual Food & Beer Fest. We served the most delicious deviled eggs, focaccia bread, beer and more while dancing to the DJ’s party playlist and raising money for an excellent cause. I’m legit looking forward to next year’s event already.
- Nook: A friend suggested we try this restaurant Sunday and it became the perfect first half of an eight-hour brunch. Situated right off the cable car line, we sat outside with delicious food and bottomless mimosas (served until 3pm), and chatted endlessly while watching tourists roll by. This one is definitely going in my brunch spot rotation.
- “Amy”: The tragic rise and fall of Amy Winehouse may not have surprised some, given her troubled past. But this incredible documentary gives the public a harrowing look into her private life and demons, plus the people surrounding her during those ups and downs. I saw a screening last weekend and am recommending it to anyone with two ears who’ll listen.
- “Sit Still, Look Pretty” – Daya: If there was ever a modern-day anthem for girl power, this is it. Who can argue with lyrics like “…Then Snow White / She did right in her life / Had seven men to do the chores / ‘Cause that’s not what a lady’s for”? It’s on repeat in my personal playlist, pushing me and other women to be OK with flying solo to take over the world😉
I’ve gone pretty much nonstop since last week, even writing this in between happy hours and other social outings. I’m not complaining, although my marathon of watching Olympics coverage has slowed down considerably.
And, as a sure sign that I’m officially 29, I was just “laying down for a nap” last Friday before this Rave of Thrones event, only to wake up hours later after missing the whole thing.
- Britney/Taylor Mashup Night: I made up for lost time Saturday night with my first-ever visit to famed SF nightclub Bootie, because why else? It was Britney/Taylor Mashup Night! I expected a little more of “Bad Blood… One More Time,” but was truly amazed at the DJs’ abilities to mix Eminem, Black Sabbath and more with the queens of pop.
- Red Dog: Another day, another happy hour. This SOMA bar was the second stop on a night where I said farewell to both current co-workers and former colleagues who were leaving their respective companies. Red Dog was a perfect setting — friendly staff, delicious food and strong drinks.
- Barry’s Boot Camp: In case it wasn’t completely clear, I’m in need of a detox more than anything. Since that’s unlikely to ever happen, I’ve instead taken advantage of promotions through work to try “The Best Workout in the World.” It’s kicked my ass, motivated me and been, truly, one of the best group fitness classes I’ve ever tried. Best of all, the friends I made go with me are still speaking to me.
- Jessica’s “Daily Affirmation”: This toddler’s uplifting pep talk went viral a few years ago, but has recently made a resurgence and I’m not mad about it. Whether it’s your hair or your pajamas or your whole house, I hope you too have things you like and believe you can do anything good!
As I’ve been reminded on my first day back to work in nearly a week, today is Wednesday. Please bear with me as I attempt to form coherent and complete sentences.
- Domaine Chandon: My friends hosted this weekend’s wedding guests with a Jolly Trolley of Love through a few Napa wineries, and our first stop — at Chandon — was my fave. The staff was superb, the bubbles were flowing and I refrained from any references to SNL’s Moët Chandon girls (language NSFW).
- Gott’s Roadside: After a day of wine tasting, we were in dire need of lunch (and more alcohol). This iconic restaurant in St. Helena accommodated our orders in advance, allowing our precious party planner a faster feat of feeding 19 people. The burgers were bomb, as were the shakes and sips.
- S’well: After this weekend’s shenanigans, I’m in full detox mode. Well, except for the three happy hours and one rave (that’s right) I have this week. During the day, at least, I stay happily hydrated with my fancy S’well bottle. I thought the price point was steep, but I consistently get at least 100oz of ice-cold water daily thanks to this little lifesaver. And, proceeds from every sale help give drinking water to children in need. Ahhh.
- “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake: It could be the fact that *NSYNC just reunited for JC Chasez’s FORTIETH birthday or that JT’s voice always gets the people going, but no matter the reason, I’m really feeling this summer song. Bonus: It’s apparently on the soundtrack for the upcoming “Trolls” movie — so look out for that.
I’m happy to report I made it safely back to SF, and even happier to report my four-day migraine has finally subsided. Is it possible my silent apartment was, in fact, deafening after eight days of nonstop fun with two nieces, two dogs and family galore?
- RIO 2016: If you know anything about me from 2012 and 2014, you know “obsessed” is an understatement for how I feel about the Olympics. The opening ceremonies in Rio are Friday, and I can’t quite wait to fill the DVR with gymnastics, beach volleyball, swimming, sailing and speedwalking.
- Local Olympians: It wouldn’t be fair to mention my love for the games without highlighting alumni of my high school and college Greek life, respectively. Ryan Lochte already has 11 Olympic swimming medals, so why not add some more to the collection — and with a new ‘do? And Paige Railey hopes to sail her way to victory in her second Olympic games. Good luck, FL friends!
- Cosmo + Tasha Tie the Knot: In non-Olympics news, a good friend from my Tampa days will marry the love of his life in Napa next week. The celebrations start Friday, though, so it’s a good a time as ever to wish them well. Cheers to all this next chapter will bring, you two — I can’t wait to celebrate!
- U.S. Men’s Basketball Sings Vanessa Carlton: Is there anything better than a bunch of grown men, who are professional basketball players, singing a sickly sweet pop song? I submit that there is not. Carmelo just isn’t having it, but the other guys seem to know a good thing when they hear it.
I’ve had a wonderful week this far with my family in Florida, from snuggling my newborn niece to accompanying my toddler niece in baby ballet class and more.
Seeing my family just a few times a year has reinforced the importance of being present with them when we’re together. I even purposely left my laptop in SF, in an attempt to disconnect from work and other obligations as much as possible. It should come as no surprise, then, that this week’s obsessions are short and sweet.
Hold your loved ones tight, if you’re able. Call them, video chat them, send them letters… whatever you can to remind them that family comes first.
And speaking of firsts, here’s baby Lillian’s first Snapchat story. She’s clearly already a baby genius. I’ll be back at it again next week with our regularly scheduled WO programming.
- “Ghostbusters: Answer the Call”: I can’t remember a movie that had me laughing for nearly the entire time, but this reboot has four fantastic leading ladies, a bunch of throwback references and some awesome eye candy. That’s what I call a winning combo.
- A Visit Back East: It’s only been six months since I was last in Florida, but so much has changed in that time and I can’t wait to get there this weekend. If I spend the entire time squishing my niece’s cheeks and watching “Zootopia” with my other niece, then I think I’ll be just fine.
- “The Night Of”: I did not need another show to watch. Really, I didn’t. But a co-worker and another friend each told me how much I needed to see this one, and I caved. I’m glad I did… the premiere left me breathless from start to finish, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of this miniseries unfolds.
- “This Is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris f. Rihanna: I honestly could not care less about the drama surrounding Taylor’s songwriting contributions (or not) to this song. And I really, really didn’t want to like it, because, Rihanna. But damn, it’s an earworm. And despite my distaste for most EDM, this one really gets me pumped.
There were plenty of scary news stories, social injustices, and other important topics flooding our feeds this past week. I’m addressing it the only way I know how when I’m overwhelmed: Reverting to childhood nostalgia.
- Pokémon Go: I’m sorry to acknowledge it, but you can’t go anywhere without hearing someone talk about this damn game. I personally haven’t played it myself — nor do I plan to — but something that permeates every conversation and literally every meeting of mine this week at least deserves an honorable mention. I just wish it came with a dash of common sense.
- Lucky Strike: Before this past weekend, I’d only enjoyed beverages and light snacks at this SF franchise. I decided to go old-school with a birthday bowling party here, and it ended up being a ridiculously fun evening surrounded by friends. The drinks were strong, the games were not, and the ‘90s–’00s jams really kept us going.
- Jennifer Aniston: America’s sweetheart wrote an engaging and informative essay for HuffPo, published yesterday, entitled “For the Record.” Among her many points made, it’s vital our culture acknowledge that, as women: “We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies.” Preach, Rachel Green. Preach.
- “Just Like Fire” – P!nk: Falling down the rabbit hole doesn’t sound so bad when it comes with a soundtrack like this. Plus, I’ve loved P!nk since she came on the music scene in 1999, which either makes me admittedly old or adorably loyal. Either way, this one’s on repeat.