I’m sure there are worse ways to start off your week than being unceremoniously dumped, but I’m struggling to think of any right now. Better sooner than later, I know. But woof. What a week it’s been — and it’s only Wednesday.
- “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”: Caitlin Doughty’s memoir served as the backdrop for this month’s Book Club pick. It’s a dark, oddly humorous and fairly emotional look at the funeral industry and the way society acknowledges death (or doesn’t). I’m intrigued to hear what my fellow clubbers thought, but I gave it an enthusiastic four stars myself.
- Support BELWOP: One of the most selfless, giving people I know is planning a mission trip to Kenya with her church. You can read more about it on Lydia’s GoFundMe page, but I hope you’ll consider giving to a spirit so bright and selfless. Any donation counts toward helping her help others.
- Bran Flakes Visits: Another of my favorite humans on the planet is coming to visit tomorrow, and her timing couldn’t be more perfect. From working on the same creative team and exploring Panama and Costa Rica, plus volunteering on a leadership board and even designing this very WO template, Brandi and I have shared some of my most treasured experiences — and I’m sure there are more to come this weekend.
- “Let’s Generalize about Men” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: There are some real gems out there when it comes to breakup songs, but this one is absolutely my favorite right now. If you’re not familiar with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” songs, they’re often self-aware and a parody of ridiculous proportions. Disclaimer aside, I think anyone would enjoy this totally tubular jam.
The past two weeks were a whirlwind between four flights, four cities and 5,000+ miles. To say I’m tired is an understatement, but it’s a first-world problem I’m grateful to have. Here’s what else I’m thankful for:
- “The Emperor’s Children”: A friend loaned me this 2007 bestseller recently, assuring me I’d enjoy the New York backdrop. She hit the nail on the head, as I quickly pieced together the story’s undercurrent and dreamed of fonder times in NYC. While it was slow to start (for me), I’d still recommend it to anyone in search of an emotionally charged novel.
- “Little Fires Everywhere”: Can you tell I’ve been on planes a lot lately? I devoured this new bestseller in two sittings, and only a little bit because it’s on tonight’s Book Club agenda. The characters are deeply flawed and perfectly human; the analogies are consistent; and the storylines are fascinating. I can’t wait to see what my girls thought of it, too.
- “Riverdale”: Not to worry; I’m not all books and brains over here. It took me forever to get on board with this sinister take of the classic comic books I so adored. But now that I’ve started, I’ve had a hard time stopping. The soundtrack, costuming and cinematography are just a few of the reasons I think you’ll enjoy it too.
- “Wolves” – Selena Gomez f. Marshmello: I wish I had a better reason for surfacing this song besides the fact that I like it. While I still get Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato confused, there’s no mistaking how much fun this bumping, sultry sound is. It’s perfect for a poolside playlist or weekend workout. And yes, all that alliteration was necessary to prove a point 😉
I’m running on empty today, after being emotionally drained and awoken multiple times last night by what I thought was an alert in a dream. It wasn’t until 6am that I realized the alert was happening in real life, and it wasn’t until I was on a chair, smoke detector in hand, that I discovered it was coming from my beloved Jambox.
I must not have turned it off after its last use, so I had a woman’s voice tell me every 10 minutes or so to recharge the battery. Hint: This is not an ideal way to wake up.
All that to say, I’m ready to recharge myself and my Jambox.
- Before the Fall: I’ve been on a book binge lately, devouring the shelves of stories I bought months ago but hadn’t committed to reading. This novel details the events of a (fictional) horrific private plane crash from multiple perspectives, as we try to piece together what happened and why there are just two survivors. It left me breathless most of the way, but I was a bit disappointed in the final chapters. Still, I’d recommend the read — just not while you’re in-flight.
- Heavenly, Tahoe: I spent last weekend in Tahoe for a good friend’s 30th birthday celebration, marking my first adventure there in the winter (and with a bed)! We had our fill of snow games during the day, plus cozy cabin fun at night. Our backyard was a winter wonderland, making it hard to leave, so I’ll just need to find 15 other people to rent the house out with me again soon. Should be as easy as a Floridian sledding down a snowy hill, right?
- Basecamp Fitness: It’s only natural to try the countless fitness facilities SF has to offer. A friend brought us in for a free trial and we picked Plyo, AKA “the toughest class ever,” according to the girl next to me, who’s worked out there for a year. The schtick is simple: You do a minute on a resistance bike, a minute doing something else, then back to the bike and so on. You’re “done” in 35 minutes, although they encourage you to stay for the optional 10-minute abs session after. I’m sure I’ll be back soon to see how other classes compare.
- Pagan Idol: It’s the Tahoe birthday girl’s actual birthday, so we’re set to escape even further tonight — to a magical, tropical bar downtown. The tiki hut is reserved, the drinks will be flowing and I’m practicing my “luau” for the occasion. Added bonus: The excitement of tonight’s festivities are about the only thing getting me through today. And, the promise of a warm space away from the cold, rainy outdoors is even better!
We’ve already made it through a month of 2017, people! Can you believe it?!
I sure can’t, because these past four weeks have been so mentally and emotionally exhausting, I thought we were at least through May. My calendar still says “February 1,” so I’ll have to take its word.
- Santa Barbara: What’s the best way to escape all of your worries and problems? Get away. For reals. I’m thankful to have a dear friend who straight up asked my boss if I could skip town for a few days, and couldn’t be happier with the result of some time outside of reality. The pier, the people, the villa, the food (not in that order) were all incredible. I have a feeling I’ll be back again soon.
- Salt Cave: The highlight of our trip — for me — was spending time at Salt. We did a 45-minute “guided meditation” (a misnomer, as it was a barely audible recording that left us with 30 minutes of silence) in a full-on salt cave. We’re talking Himalayan salt on the walls, floor, ceiling! It was breathtaking and incredibly restorative to relax in a chilly room with purifying and calming properties. They also offer massages and yoga… yet another reason I see myself back in SB!
- Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons: A former co-worker recommended this book to me months ago and I finally dove in recently. It’s a fascinating look at the tech world I thought I knew, as Lyons is a lifelong journalist who’s laid off and begins working at a Boston start-up. If you can get through all of the intentionally annoying “awesome!” usage, I think you’ll enjoy. If nothing else, the perspective of a 50-something in a sea of 20-somethings is quite entertaining.
- ‘90s Playlist: Anyone who’s been in a car for more than an hour knows the importance of a good playlist. My friend and I are luckily like-minded musical geniuses, so we blasted all of the ‘90s nostalgia we could handle. From obvious faves like Backstreet Boys and Notorious B.I.G. to sometimes forgotten legends like Steps and M2M, these tunes actually made the six-hour drive fun.
Hurricane Matthew seems to have its sights set on the east coast of Florida. As my family and friends batten down the hatches, I’m using these distractions to weather the storm updates. Stay safe out there — lifelong Floridians are great at ignoring dramatic predictions, but this one looks like it could actually be a doozy.
- Lisa Frank on FB: What better return to childhood nostalgia than your favorite rainbow and animal enthusiast sharing Facebook updates? From recipes to products to memes and more, the posts always bring a smile to my face. Absolutely fabulous!
- Grape Stomping: One of my work teams had our quarterly outing yesterday, this time with grape stomping at Grgich Hills Estate. We tasted wines elsewhere, too, but this was easily the highlight of the day. Stomping away in barrels (while accidentally dressed as twins) was the perfect activity for a team-building Tuesday.
- “The Help”: I recently found this bestseller in a thrift store for just $1, so I promptly brought it home to enjoy. It took about four nights of voracious reading — it’s that well-written — to devour this story of black maids in 1960s Mississippi. Bonus: Comcast had the movie showing for free, so I indulged in that after the final chapter. If you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend… especially with today’s racial landscape. It’s eerily scary to the
- SNL Is Back: With its biggest premiere audience in eight years, it’s clear America loves Donald Trump. Or at least, loves Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump. The highly anticipated debate parody was just the beginning and — although I feel like real life is sadly funnier — I’m excited to see what else they’ll come up with the circus, I mean, election.
September is always a month that kicks my ass. Between five birthdays in the family, the anniversary of my dad’s death, and whatever else life throws at me, I can’t seem to keep my head above water. Luckily, I have a long vacation coming up this month (on the water) and can focus on the positive vibes that will surely bring.
- Fantasy Football: What else does this month mean? FOOTBALL. And because I’m a glutton for punishment, I’ve committed myself to three fantasy teams. And a survivor league. And a weekly pick ‘em. Too much? Never. Bring it on.
- Modern Romance: I love Aziz Ansari and can’t wait to see him perform live in October. Till then, I had to get my fix with his highly entertaining — and informative — take on dating in today’s day and age. It’s a must, especially for any man who “doesn’t get” why he’s striking out.
- Balboa Café: I ran into a friend on the bus last week and we determined it was high time to schedule a brunch date. This neighborhood spot introduced me to crab cakes eggs benedict, and was quite literally life-changing. I didn’t get to sample their famous Bloody Mary … all the more reason to return.
- “Gossip Folks” – Missy Elliot f. Ms. Jade & Ludacris: I love that Missy had a quasi-comeback during this year’s Super Bowl, but lately, I can’t seem to get this song out of my head. Maybe it’s the catchy beat. Or the (NSFW) ridiculous lyrics. Or the addictive video. Whatever the reason, I’m not mad about it.
Summer, as most people know it, is over. It’s time for back to school, final family vacations, and the holiday will be here in no time. Lucky for us in San Francisco, summer weather is just about to start. Even though it doesn’t come with more vacation days, I couldn’t be more pumped for some fun in the sun.
- Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar: Twitter queen and bestselling author Kelly Oxford has lived quite the life. She put together this compilation of unbelievable oh-no-she-didn’t stories, and it left me laughing — sometimes even scratching my head. It’s a quick, easy read and the cover art is awesome … what’s not to love?
- Just Dance: What happens when you have a bunch of people in their late 20s, all hopped up on wine and cheese? Apparently, it’s this game. We followed the suggested moves and made up our own, resulting in an absolutely ridiculous evening of goofs and giggles.
- Kelly Clarkson: I saw the American Idol herself perform this past weekend and was endlessly entertained. She speaks to the crowd like she would a close friend, and is just about the cutest pregnant performer ever.
- “Heartbeat Song” – Kelly Clarkson: Speaking of, Kelly’s recent releases have reignited my love for her multiplatinum career. This one is from her latest album, Piece by Piece, and sure to be stuck in your head soon enough.