It’s hard to believe you’ve been gone six and a half years. I remember thinking you were so young to die at 63, and now today, you’d be 70. SEVENTY. That sounds so old somehow.
Tomorrow is my birthday, which means I’d normally be in a constant mode of self-reflection and criticism and wondering if I’m where I “should” be. It only feels good in the moment, as if I’m “doing something about it,” but then leaves me in a tailspin of turmoil. What I find much more rejuvenating (and as a result, better for my skin!) is to live and let live. Look out, 32!
- Birthday, Unabashed: I’m a constant work in progress, always looking to learn and grow and evolve. All that pressure, though, is exhausting. When I take stock of things in my life, I am more happy than not. I am more at peace with my accomplishments and failures, my triumphs and trials, than I’ve been in a very long time. That’s something to celebrate.
- Self-Care Saturday: A big piece of my identity has been how low maintenance I aim to be. But, that’s often equated to me not taking care of myself in ways I actually do enjoy. So last Saturday, I had my makeup done by the magical Melinda at Sephora and my hair done by the genius Paul at Atelier Emmanuel, and I didn’t feel ashamed or frivolous or self-conscious for a single second 💁♀️
- This Map: The first gift this year was from my biggest fan, my Mom. Another selfish (in a good way) pursuit I’m working on is traveling more, and this scratch-off map will help ensure inspired planning. Spoiler alert: We already have tickets booked for Ireland in August, and I’ll be hitting up Germany’s Oktoberfest in the fall. Danke, Mama!
- “Truth Hurts” – Lizzo: I’m obsessed with Lizzo’s entire album, music videos, voice, body, ALL. OF. IT. This banger is far and away my favorite. I wake up with it in my head, I go to sleep with it in my head, I hum it in the shower, I’ve contributed to ~100 views of the video. Painting a pretty clear picture of my devotion, no? Some NSFW lyrics but I dare you to not love it.
Am I still blowing out birthday candles? Yes. Am I mad about it? No.
- The Never-Ending Birthday: Yes, it’s been seven days since my birthday and YES, I am with you, hating on people who are still setting off fireworks. But I’ve been quite surprised to enjoy so many celebrations, from a pinata at work to a park picnic to a delicious dinner and more. I’m feeling the love, folks!
- SFPL Is #1: You may recall my infatuation with the library and this article cements why the San Francisco Public Library is truly top-notch. From engaging programs to redefining the role of librarians, it’s clear the SFPL is #1 in our hearts and the Dewey Decimal System. (Don’t @ me for a DDS joke, y’all.)
- “52 Lists for Happiness”: This weekly journal has made the rounds on plenty of gift-giving lists and must-have articles. It was gifted to me last year, and while I wasn’t diligently sticking to the habit (and am therefore, not done), I can honestly say it’s given me a healthy and helpful way to document the things I’m proud of. Plus, it’s preeetty.
- All Drake Everythang: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Drake’s latest record-breaking album “Scorpion” and mega collaborations. Just look at the Billboard Hot 100 — he’s on 13 of the top 21! If that doesn’t scream “Success!” I don’t know what does.
Better late than never, right? I’m nothing if not great on a deadline, so let’s get right to it.
- Dad’s Birthday: I’ve learned in the last 4.5 years without my dad that the milestones and anniversaries don’t get any easier. Instead, they become this new normal you adjust to, and you find ways to get some semblance of peace among the pain. I raised a few glasses to Slick Rick last night, on what would have been his 68th birthday. Cheers and 143 always, Dad.
- St. Paddy’s Day: In true Irish form, we mourn a loss the same way we celebrate. This year, I’ll be at a wedding, but I have no doubt it’ll be a holiday to remember. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I still love spending St. Paddy’s with good friends, good music and good beer. Slainte!
- Minneapolis: The wedding I’m attending is in the fair metropolis of Minneapolis, which I’m excited to explore for the very first time. The weather forecast isn’t ideal, but there are tons of breweries and local (inside!) hot spots to hit. If nothing else, this giant cherry and spoon sculpture is bound to give me some fascinating photos.
- “Meet Me in the Middle” – Zedd, Maren Morris + Grey: This earworm has been in my head nonstop for a few weeks now. If you recognize it from the Target commercials, you can blame them instead of me. (Fun fact: Target’s HQ is in Minneapolis!) Maren Morris’s voice is killer, and the hook gets me every damn time. I’m losing my mind just a little… if that doesn’t sum it all up, I don’t know what does.
It’s taking all of me to not get political up in here, so let’s just breeze on past the pleasantries and jump into other topics:
- Air Conditioning: We had record-breaking temps in SF last weekend, and while 100 degrees doesn’t sound all that bad, consider experiencing it without central air. My tower fan became my BFF, but it wasn’t enough for Saturday’s misery. Thankfully, a friend and I sought refuge in stores and bars to beat the heat. Woof.
- Irma Prep: I’m not talking about LuLaRoe, y’all. As yet another hurricane makes its way to the States, I’ve got my eye on Irma. Paths aren’t always predictable, but I’m staying in close contact with family and friends about their evacuation plans. In the meantime, all I can really do is sit and wait. And tell the same thing to my thoughtful friends and co-workers here who keep asking about it 😉
- NOT Fantasy Football: Are you as surprised as I am? After about eight years of juggling fantasy teams with pools. pick ‘ems and survivor leagues, I’m taking a break. Well, from the fantasy part at least. I’ve declined four invitations and couldn’t be more excited to just watch the games this year without a ton of invested interest. Bonus: I won’t have player paralysis because I have someone in one league but am up against them in another.
- Magz’s Big Birthday: What’s the most exciting thing tomorrow brings? My momma has a milestone birthday to celebrate! I won’t talk numbers, because I am a lady, but I have high hopes for the year ahead. The best is yet to come for my favorite mother, and I can’t wait to see what her next year brings. 143 always.
Good lord, I’m glad you only turn 30 once. I really ran into it head-on, with a tour of wine country, an A’s game with fireworks and a birthday bar crawl/fundraiser/karaoke jam sesh. (If you missed your chance to donate to the ACLU, you can still donate here on my behalf 😉). If you’re a schmuck like me and worked today, here’s a dreamy escape to get you through to Friday…
- Christopher Creek Winery: I joined this winery back in March, solely for the chance to reserve their house for my birthday weekend. I knew it was a long shot, and sure enough, the house wasn’t available for the holiday. But Lea and the CCW team didn’t disappoint — the poolside vibe was perfect to kick off my “Witty in Wine Country” festivities.
- Big John’s Market: We then headed to pick up our boxed lunches from this local shop, which was a steal at $15/person (+ gratuity). The sandwiches, pasta/potato salad and desserts were a welcome addition to our bellies otherwise only full of rosé and reds. Delish!
- Amphora Winery: Our second winery stop was this delightfully charming venue, which pulled out ALL the birthday stops. From a custom menu to chocolate truffles and a thoughtful birthday gift, Rick and the Amphora team were truly amazing. We will happily “revisit” both the wines and the tasting room.
- Pech Merle Winery: Finally, we made our way to this cool, cozy lounge. Jenna and the team were so accommodating and friendly, keeping the drinks flowing and the laughs going. The indoor swing was a huge hit, and they waived tasting fees for each bottle purchased — talk about a win-win!
Whether you wrote a letter, donated to the ACLU, called, messaged or joined me in person, I can honestly say this birthday was one for the record books. Thank you from the bottom of my little Witty heart! Xoxo ❤️💙
As you can guess from my 30 Before 30 series, I turn 30 in two months and three days.
When Mom was my age, she was giving birth to me. She also had a three-year-old son, who was with her parents in Daytona during the tumultuous delivery. She’d recently celebrated her seventh wedding anniversary with her college sweetheart. She was a few years into her teaching career, after needing to pivot from a criminal defense role in South Florida.
When Mom was my age, she was juggling being a wife, mom, educator, homeowner, and a million other adjectives I haven’t experienced yet. She was sacrificing some dreams and goals for those achievements, never once blaming or resenting us for the path she pursued.
When Mom was my age, she had no idea how harrowing this birth would be. She had no idea her husband would suffer a stroke in eight years, changing her marriage and parenting plan overnight. She had no idea what we’d become or pursue or achieve; she just did her damnedest to ensure we were brought up with strong morals and guidance.
When Mom was my age, she was on the cusp of 30 — maybe pursuing her own List of sorts before the milestone birthday arrived. She’d likely been to 10 concerts (now guess which one was fake) 😤 She’d experienced a lot, but still had so much more to come.
Although Mother’s Day is two weeks away, I couldn’t let today — the exact age she was when I was born — pass without acknowledging how grateful I am for everything she did for me then and has continued to do ever since. 143 always, Momma.
Do you wanna know a secret? Well, I suppose it’s not so secret anymore.
It’s my high school bestie’s 30th birthday today, and her husband coordinated for another close friend and I to surprise her in Memphis today! Aaaaand, we pulled it off!
It was, perhaps, the surprise of the century. (Modesty was always my strong suit.) We’re so excited to spend a few days celebrating our fave friend. Our chattering teeth are only partially from the freezing temps, I swear.
Happy 30th, Jenny — may your year ahead be your best yet! Xoxo ❤
Are you ready for some life-changing obsessions this week?! You are?! Hint: This will not include the anger-inducing “schedule” feature on WordPress, since it failed me so hard last week.
Anyway, get set — this is not a drill.
- Hoisin Chicken Stir-fry: I haven’t been shy about professing my love for Blue Apron. And despite some ingredient issues recently, including with this very meal, it’s my go-to for creating delicious dishes. I couldn’t give this any more than five stars, but I would if I could. Check out the recipe here and let me know if you’re as in love as I am.
- Silencing FB Live: If you’re suffering an endless slew of Facebook Live notifications, you’ve wondered, no doubt, how to make them stoppp. I was only seeing the option in-app to turn off individual notifications, but there’s a way to do it from the ol’ desktop that takes two seconds and will save a million headaches. Dramatic, much? This article explains.
- Magz’s Birthday: It’s my favorite mom’s birthday today, and as she celebrates (undisclosed number here), I have to reflect on how much she’s impacted my life. From keeping our family together during tough times to answering all of my “how to adult” questions, Magz is deserving of a gold medal and a fantastic year ahead. Cheers!
- “Starving” – Hailee Steinfeld & Grey f. Zedd: I heard this song on Spotify a few times without realizing how often it’d get stuck in my head after. You may recognize Hailee from “True Grit,” “Pitch Perfect” or the upcoming “The Edge of Seventeen.” Turns out, her pipes sound even better with a little pop-funk in the background.
My birthday weekend went much differently than planned, which could be the universe’s way of knocking me on my ass a bit. Whatever the case, I’ve got a few things to keep me smiling through the bumps and bruises.
- Lillian Grace: Despite anxiously awaiting my niece’s arrival, there’s still something so magical about her actually making her entrance into the world. She was born on June 30 at 1:12pm ET, weighing 8lbs and 13 oz, and was 19.5in long. Welcome to our crazy, beautiful family, Lillian! I can’t wait to squish those cheeks and cover you with kisses soon.
- SFMOMA: The iconic SF Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) closed for extensive renovations before I moved here, so to say I was excited for a team outing there is a total understatement. We didn’t even make it through the entire building; there’s so much to explore and enjoy. Highly recommend whether you live in SF or are just passing through.
- Birthday Gifts: After an extra-long weekend, our office was a little sluggish getting back into the swing of things today. But two of my teams surprised me with thoughtful cards, flowers and gifts from SFMoMA, which filled my heart with happiness 🙂 ← Proof
- Sugar Pine Point: As promised, Tahoe was absolutely stunning this weekend. Our campsite was the perfect distance from the outside world, yet we were close enough to the lake that we could kayak and watch fireworks and relax without much prep at all. It’s no wonder the sites sell out on the first day of the season!
Images courtesy of: SIL + Brother, Twitter, Me x2