I spent the bulk of June cheering on my brother’s fitness progress and not doing a whole lot toward my own. I’ve fallen out of routines, de-prioritized healthy habits, and generally made excuses for my lack of motivation. For the first time probably ever, though, I’m not completely beating myself up for it. [Negative thoughts squashed: ~20]
While I still have a hard time abandoning books I don’t love, I did evolve a bit into trying shorter stories and more memoirs. I did my best to like some titles, but there were only a few standouts from the nine I consumed in June. [Books read: 9]
Weather be damned, here’s the rest of my June un-gloomed:
- Finished a Vegas trip with CHRISTINA AGUILERA and her first residency show
- Fought yet another mystery illness, perhaps my body’s way of saying “slow the F down”
- Celebrated a dear couple’s wedding and toasted with their champagne burro
- Made new friends via an Airbnb stay at said wedding weekend
- Caught up with former colleagues at a happy hour where pigeons shat on us
- Mourned the loss of the Warriors in Game 6
- Co-hosted a beach bonfire with s’mores on s’mores on s’mores
- Celebrated a friend’s birthday with putt-putt and got the only Hole in One on the 18th hole!
- Remembered Dad during a quiet, reflective Father’s Day
- Volunteered with kinders and then veterans for my company’s month of service program
- Attended Book Club, having not read the book for probably the first time ever
- Continued the tradition of seeing the “Sex and the City Live!” drag show at Oasis
- Celebrated my second mom’s birthday with bocce, barbecue, and beers
- Did some self-care work in the form of nails did, hair did, everything did
- Virtually celebrated my niece’s third birthday and sparkly cowgirl costume
This is my new bff, Zoe. She’s a little camera-shy.
I haven’t been back to Florida in six months, so it’s just about time for waves of homesickness to set in. It doesn’t help that we just had Father’s Day (our sixth without Dad), my parents’ anniversary (their 39th), and my grandma’s birthday would be tomorrow (happy 89th in Heaven, Grammy!). Here’s what’s helping me get through the hometown blues:
- FaceTime: I mean, duh. There’s likely no way I would get through being far from family if it weren’t for the power of technology. I’m very grateful for my mom, brother, SIL, and the whole gang being up for FaceTiming regularly. It’s nothing like being there, of course, but it’s absolutely a great (and cheap!) alternative.
- A Cowgirl’s 3rd Birthday: Coming in hot this weekend is my younger niece, who turns THREE on Sunday! I can hardly believe she’ll be a three-nager in no time. Her current obsession with Jessie the cowgirl shows no sign of stopping, so it’s only fitting she dress the part in a sparkly hat and pair of boots to “ride like the wind, Bullseye!”
- “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” – Randy Newman: All this Toy Story talk has me thinking of the classic (how old am I?) song that brought us all to tears. Of the many musical moments we have Pixar to thank for, this one easily sits near the top tunes to take us back. I also can’t help but think of the show “Monk” when I hear it, but that’s another story for another week.
- #PrideForever: There’s no place like home, eh Dorothy? And there’s nowhere I’d rather be to celebrate 50 years of the modern LGBTQ+ movement than in gay ol’ San Francisco. Living in such an accepting, love-filled, progressive place can have its scary moments. But overall, I feel very privileged and special to reside in this Bay Area among people of all identities and backgrounds.
It should come as no surprise that my health and wellness focus has fallen quite off the rails. I battled a couple of allergy attacks, and my motivation has run away further than any ol’ 5K would get me. I did focus more on meditation and mindfulness, so I’m trying to not beat myself up about it. But when you’re an all-or-nothing kinda person, it def feels futile. [Minutes meditated: ~200]
What I always come back to for relaxation and rejuvenation is READING. I’ve been “competing” in a one-book-a-week challenge at work and smashed my goal of 13 books in 10 weeks, with a week still to go. From awful self-help advice to the horrors of Nazi Germany, it’s been quite a journey. [Books read: 7]
Here’s how else I spent the month of May:
- Celebrated Cinco with margaritas and Book Club
- Had a roomie reunion dinner at a new Mediterranean spot
- Happy-houred with former colleagues and enjoyed comped treats from the chef
- Dinner and a pop-up show in Oakland — truly remarkable!
- Canceled plans on canceled plans on canceled plans (I blame mystery illness)
- My oldest niece graduated from VPK! The pics are everything
- Volunteered with the Junior League of SF and prepped incoming leadership
- Sat out the annual Bay to Breakers mayhem (let’s say because of rainy forecasts)
- Ventured to OLIVE GARDEN with my girlfriends who truly are family
- Continued furnishing the new apartment, despite incomplete deliveries and delays
- Celebrated the end of the League year with dinners, drinks, wine country… you name it
- Saw the Monet exhibit before it left SF…
- …and ended the evening with a scary (though relatively minor) car crash
- Remembered how atrocious the insurance and healthcare industries are in the US
- Traveled to Vegas with a lot of aspirin and saw CELINE DION in one of her final shows
Sometimes the simplest things in life can truly bring the greatest pleasures. I got back to my simple roots this week and, I gotta say, it really helped me get through some shit.
- GoT Finale: Wouuuld we call this simple? No. But finally knowing how our beloved Starks and the rest of the Westeros crew fared brings such closure to the chaos. Didn’t love it, wouldn’t rate it 10/10, but does any finale ever really nail it? Thanks for the memories, GoT. And now our watch has ended.
- Olive Garden: I don’t know if there’s another restaurant that reminds me of home as much as the OG. My grandpa (Pop) was a daily visitor and everyone knows those breadsticks can inspire family feuds like no other. I had my first-ever Tour of Italy and will be visiting again soon.
- Lolli & Pops: Next to the only OG in town is a massive mall, containing this SF treasure. We were actual kids in a candy store as my friend gasped “Pineapple! Gummy sharks!” etc. etc. The massive candy bark and cookie-dough bites are worth the visit alone.
- “Candy” – Mandy Moore: Well, duh. But I also killed some time the other day watching “Center Stage” and was reminded of this perennial pop hit’s place in history. Doesn’t get sweeter than that. Love always, Mandy.
This first paragraph has been dedicated to my health and wellness journey, but tbh guys, I’ve put all that on the backburner. Yes, I bought essential oils. Yes, I practiced some yoga. Yes, I ate a lot of kale. But to say I’m the picture of health (as much as I want to) would be an utter fallacy. [Times I thought about working out: ~50]
I did bump back up my reading list with a handful of books I flew right through. There were some peaks and valleys, some tears and laughs. Overall, I’m just glad my library card is getting so much use (and that my employer reimburses books I read for my job). They’re the real MVPs. [Books read: 6]
Here’s what else I spent time doing in April:
- Fighting a mystery illness
- Seeing a Star Wars–themed burlesque show
- Explaining to people what/why/who/where re: a Star Wars–themed burlesque show
- Wine-ing with friends after a Vegas trip as a no-go
- Being “those people” at said wineries and giving zero Fs
- Spending time getting set up for the next year of Junior League
- Seeing former colleagues at a ladies’ happy-hour-turned-mega-celebration
- Worshipping a dear friend who knows how to purge crap without judgment
- Brunching with former colleagues at a spot I hadn’t been before
- Dyeing Easter eggs and enjoying homemade lemon cupcakes with a dear friend
- Avoiding my old apartment during countless showings, despite needing to pack
- MOVING to a new apartment with a former roommate! ! !
- Getting my deep clean on at the dentist twice #NoCavities
- Toasting a former colleague as she closes one chapter for a new one at FitBit (gasp!)
- Reaching peak adulthood as I nearly cried when receiving a new mattress
The only photo I have from April that slightly resembles me.
I told myself I’d try a “clean eating on weekdays” approach in March but I most certainly did not. Instead, I started on the 1st with a Mexican fiesta lunch, spent mid-March in San Diego (Mexican food capital of California) and ended the 31st with a wine-and-tacos apartment purge party. Noticing a theme? Ay dios mio. [🌮 eaten: ~20]
Despite having plenty of time to devote to reading on the shuttle and quick flights, I found myself not able to power through any reads the way I normally would. (For context, I can usually get through a book in 2-4 sittings, and a few days’ time.) That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy my March picks, but I do think I was considerably less motivated with my brain on overdrive in work summits and commitments. [📚 read: 3.5]
Some highlights from the madness that was this past month:
- Bowling with dear friends who moved to New York last year
- Celebrating a housemate’s birthday with incredible Cajun cuisine
- Meeting lots of inspiring and empowering women through Junior League of SF
- Attending a newcomer summit for work + getting uplifting insight
- Looking for a new apartment with a current housemate
- Catching up with a longtime friend during her stay in SF before she moves back to NYC
- Checking out a crystal fair (really!) and somehow buying only jewelry
- Hosting my fave former writer for lunch at my new(ish) job
- Happy hour-ing with other former writers and getting the tea
- Helping another former writer with her portfolio
- Spending a week in San Diego with my family
- Experiencing DisneyLand for the first time and seeing my nieces go wild
- Attending a global summit for work + meeting tons of colleagues face-to-face
- Exploring the Exploratorium 😉 and its After Dark series for the first time
- Celebrating a handful of close friends’ birthdays with drinks, dinners, brunches galore
Six people looking at the camera = a Christmas miracle
The sun has been out the past few days for what feels like the first time all year. Dramatic? Maybe. Still going with it? Totally.
- Beretta SF: I met up with former colleagues at this staple for brunch over the weekend, and it didn’t disappoint. I’d only been before for drinks and dinner (including my very first SF visit!), but the brunch menu is just as thoughtful and tasty. We did get a peep show from a neighbor… but it was all in good fun and very SF.
- Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream: The combination of dry, winter weather and constant sniffles left my skin in such a state. I put on my patience pants and trekked to Sephora, scouring shelves for the right fix. The answer was so simple: This bestselling cream is thick, yet light; it’s moisturizing, but not greasy. Holy grail, Monty. This is staying in my routine for a while.
- Pine & Patchouli: I’m rather new to the self-care movement and always looking for affordable, natural ways to improve. My friend April is the creative genius behind this Instagram account with natural, beautiful options to breathe better, reduce inflammation, clean up, you name it! I may be biased, but I can assure you the oils are a godsend for so many of life’s little problems.
- “Pity Party” – Melanie Martinez: Confession: My parents used to play classic stations exclusively in the car, so I got a fantastic education in music from the ‘50s-‘80s. One of my very favorite songs of all time is “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore, so imagine my delight when I heard this recent nod to the OG! I may or may not have already listened 100X and counting. Oops?