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?
I’m slightly less cranky this week, even though I had a near meltdown at lunch today when the only non-salad, milk-free option was gone. I’m counting down until Whole30 is done and can’t wait to share my results with you! I promise, it’s been worth it — even if I do cry over spilled soup.
- Nels Beauty Salon: Have you ever wanted to step inside Hello Kitty’s house or Barbie’s salon? Nels is about as close as you can get in San Francisco, and I had no idea. My friend had a Groupon for a gel manicure, so I made an appointment for myself. From the decor to the brushes and hot-stone elements, it was easily one of the best manicures I’ve ever had.
- Izakaya Kou: Another gem I recently discovered was this Japanese restaurant with a cozy, yet upscale, vibe. I’ve been grateful for any sashimi and nagiri during Whole30, and their hamachi carpaccio did not disappoint either. Although a bit pricey, this is would be a great date spot or girls’ night out option. Cheers to that!
- Yoga for CFF: Tonight, I’m proud to support my good friend and her work with Tomorrow’s Leaders in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We’ll be attending a yoga class downtown, with all proceeds benefiting the CFF. While I’m not closely connected to anyone fighting this disease, I couldn’t be more touched by what my friend does in honor of her strong sister.
- Gasparilla Invades SF: It’s that time of year again! Tampa Bay’s finest tradition comes to this Bay Area via my self-imposed celebration. The Buccaneer staff won’t know what hit ‘em, even with this being the third(? fourth?) year in a row. I’ve got the beads, temporary tattoos, bandanas and beads in tow — ARRRRGH ya ready?
The holiday season is in full swing, and as if I needed another reminder of it, today was the FOURTH White Elephant I’ve participated in this month. Over-commit much? I’m rocking my special sweater, tree earrings and festive fur so you better believe I’m trying to ward off my usual Grinch-y tendencies and embrace the season wholeheartedly.
- SF Ballet’s Nutcracker: Thanks to a monster group discount and the Junior League of San Francisco, I’ll be enjoying tonight’s performance of this winter classic for a nominal fee. Sugar plum fairies and pirouettes await to fulfill all my wildest prima ballerina dreams. I have no doubt my intro to the SF Ballet will be a memorable one.
- Suppenküche: A dear friend hosts an awesome annual dinner at this SF staple during Hanukkah, and this year’s celebration was no exception. From dreidel spin-offs to giant potato pancakes and banana beer, it’s a tradition I remember fondly every year. Who knows? Maybe one year I’ll even break tradition and go twice.
- The Exploratorium: Despite living in SF for 4+ years, I hadn’t yet ventured into this museum of curiosity, adventure and education. My department holiday party was here last weekend, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed the activities at every turn. The food and photo booths helped, too, but I’d happily revisit on a “normal” day.
- “All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey: Duhhhh. I can’t help myself and refuse to apologize for it. Between last week’s viewing of “Love Actually” and Carey’s always entertaining holiday antics, this is about the only seasonal tune I can listen to more than once a day. Don’t @ me, you knew it was coming at some point.
Yesterday’s shooting at YouTube HQ hit close to home, as you can imagine. I’m grateful to report my handful of friends who work there are all safe, but it’s yet another example of this complex issue and our system’s failure to address it. I’m not one to stand on a soapbox but I also feel like we just continue to shout into the void. Distractions are sometimes necessary, and here’s what’s keeping my mind occupied otherwise:
- Rediscovering Volleyball: After many months of discussion with a few girlfriends, we’ve finally gotten a volleyball team together and had our first practice last night. It’s been at least eight years since I bumped, set or spiked — and my forearms are feeling it — but I’m pumped for the next 10 weeks of play. Game on!
- SF Walk to Work Day: Inspired by last night’s sweat sesh, I reignited my walking commute today. Perfect timing, as tomorrow is SF’s Walk to Work Day. Assuming the Pineapple Express storm of the century holds off, I’ll be sure to stop by the nearest freebie hub to celebrate. Hills be damned, who wouldn’t prefer a scenic walk over a crowded bus ride with strangers’ armpits in your face?
- “RuPaul’s Drag Race”: 10 seasons of Drag Race? You’re a winner, baby. It’s been interesting to see the evolution of this series, including the All-Stars spin-offs, and this season has no shortage of drama. The contestants, the challenges, the judges — I’m living for it all. Catch new episodes on Thursdays at 8pm ET, only on VH1.
- “Bad at Love” – Halsey: The enigmatic songstress was recently a judge on Drag Race, promptly reminding me to consume her discography. This current chart-topper is no stranger to being a fan favorite, and I’d bet that nearly every millennial has felt “bad at love” at some point in modern dating. Enjoy!
I don’t know what it is about Wednesdays lately that I’m often struggling to get my head on straight, but I was able to cobble a few things together this time around:
- Antibiotics: Last week, my boss interrupted me on a conference call and urged me to see a doctor. I finally took the advice and went to a Walk-In Care clinic and was promptly prescribed antibiotics. I’ve since started feeling like a human again! I don’t recall the last time I was that sick but am so grateful to have both my nostrils functioning.
- Lafayette Park: San Francisco is experiencing some of the most beautiful weather possible in February, so I took full advantage last weekend by lounging around this neighborhood hotspot. 70 degrees and sunny? Doesn’t get much better than that. Bonus: It’s more of a family-friendly park so the DILFs are out in full force. Boom.
- Burlingame: I spent Super Bowl Sunday with friends in this South Bay gem I hadn’t yet explored. While I didn’t get any photos myself, I will definitely be back to discover more. For a quick 30-minute train ride from SF, you can’t beat the small-town feel with big-city culture. I’m especially intrigued by the PEZ Museum — talk about a throwback!
- “Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha f. Florida Georgia Line: This earworm has been stuck in my head for a solid week, and I’m not even mad about it. While the lyrics are deceptively simple, the melody is complex enough to keep me coming back for more. I dare you to give it a listen and tell me you don’t feel the same.
For the first time in many weeks, I have mostly good news to share. It’s a Christmas (season) miracle! And while we’ll kick off on a somber note, I can’t express enough how trying 2017 has been for so many. The hope of what 2018 will soon bring is about all that’s getting me through right now.
- Remembering Mayor Lee: Yesterday, me and my San Francisco neighbors awoke to the news of the unexpected passing of our Mayor, Ed Lee. He was 65. After suffering a heart attack in a Safeway Monday night, he died at SF General in the early morning hours, leaving behind his wife and daughters, and a legacy that won’t soon be forgotten. No matter your opinion of his policy, no one can argue with how good a man he was and how hard he fought to protect SF and its residents.
- Holiday Soul with OIGC: From a touching tribute to Mayor Lee to appearances by Cece Winans and more, last night’s performance of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir with the San Francisco Symphony was incredible. I’m normally quite grinchy when it comes to holiday cheer, but my two-sizes-too-small heart will always beat for outstanding voices joining in worship.
- Doug Jones Wins: What’s that glimmer of hope amid all the bulllshit 2017 brought? Alabama chose people over party last night, in the highly contested seat for Senate vacated by (now Attorney General) Jeff Sessions. Take all of the chatter and “it’s temporary” talk out of it — this is a HUGE win for the often marginalized and silenced victims of sexual abuse. An extra special thank-you to the black voters who clearly supported the cause, and without whom, this victory wouldn’t be possible.
- “Oh Happy Day” – “Sister Act 2”: Not only was this my favorite song from the movie, but it also made an appearance at the Holiday Soul concert AND accurately sums up my feelings on Alabama. Oh, and anything with Whoopi Goldberg and/or Lauryn Hill gets me going. Need I say more?
Have you ever had an “oh shit” moment where you question your intelligence and entire existence, because you can’t believe you could possibly do something so stupid (read: human)? Oh boy, have I.
- Nachi Cocom Cozumel: This was far from an “oops” — this was by far, actually, the best part of #33AndCancerFree! We spent the day on a private beach with unlimited cocktails, delicious food and access to amenities. I opted to add on an oceanside massage, while others went parasailing and rented floaties. Perfection is an understatement.
- MIA TSA: Fresh off a relaxing getaway, THIS was my major f***-up. I often make snarky comments about my fellow travelers who don’t know the liquids or laptop rules, and karma came for me hard. Thankfully, the fine folks at MIA TSA Lost and Found were able to locate and overnight a very important item I left there, and I couldn’t have been happier to be reunited with it today. Major sigh of relief.
- Alli’s Birthday: It’s hard to believe my older niece didn’t stay age 3 forever, but as of yesterday, she is now 4 freaking years old. Holy heck. I don’t know where the time has gone, and I’m sure her parents feel it even more. I couldn’t be more proud of the little lady she’s growing into, and I can’t wait to see where the next year takes her. Happy birthday, Alli-gator!
- My San Franniversary: Also worth celebrating? Today’s my 3-year San Franniversary! Some days, it feels like I just got here. Other days, it feels like I’ve been here 10 years. No matter the mood, I’ve been exposed to more culture, opportunity, perspective and temperate weather than I ever imagined. Cheers to you, SF! I love to hate you sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.