The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I couldn’t be happier today. Confession: That’s all a lie but if I keep telling myself it’s true, then it’ll all be OK, right? Right.
- Reformer Pilates: I had my first-ever turn at reformer pilates last weekend, thanks to a new friend, who happens to be a super fit instructor. The machines helped me stretch beyond my wildest dreams, and I felt lengthened and strengthened — while also relaxed. I’ll definitely be returning for another class soon. Pro tip: Don’t try this the day after an abs boot camp 😉
- Sweetbitter: This novel kept popping up on Goodreads, but I bought it late last year without ever committing. The good news: It’s a very quick read, with lots of characters and a peek into the (fictional) NYC restaurant world. The bad: I didn’t find the main character particularly likeable, and all of the food talk made me so, so hungry! Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.
- Aziz Ansari Hosts SNL: This may be premature praise, but Aziz Ansari will host this week’s SNL and I couldn’t be more excited. Modern Romance was one of the best books I’ve read in recent years, and I thoroughly enjoyed his Treat Yo’self bourgie boy Tom Haverford on “Parks & Recreation,” plus his brainchild on Netflix, “Master of None.” Don’t disappoint me, Aziz. Pleeease.
- “Starboy” – The Weeknd: It’s pretty rare that I like a song based on beat alone, without even bothering to hear or understand the lyrics. Well, The Weeknd has me hooked — despite my initial resistance after a fellow Halloween reveler insisted it be played on repeat. I’ve come around and now find myself bopping along mindlessly.
Unrelated, but I’ve recently made my personal Twitter account public, so I’ll be deleting the blog’s Twitter account. No sense managing two, right? Follow wittyburg before I delete wittyburgblog on Feb. 1!
After five packed days back in NYC, it’s safe to say it’s a good thing I no longer live there. My skin, liver, wallet and waistline desperately needed a break from the city that never sleeps. Side note: I, too, apparently never sleep while there. Good thing I’ve got an SNL-laden tribute this week to keep spirits high in my disoriented state.
- Trump’s Halloween “Apprentice” Promo: OK, so this is obviously a throwback to when Darrell Hammond was the king of impersonating Donald Trump, and not Alec Baldwin. It’s kind of eerie to watch it back now, as Trump is now one of our candidates for President, and the impression is dead-on. I recall giggling endlessly at his attempt at an evil laugh, so I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.
- Ashlee Simpson’s Lip-sync Hoedown: In that very same episode, Ashlee Simpson gave us a dance to remember forever. She delivered hit single “Pieces of Me” just fine in the first performance, but in her second shot at the stage, that same song — with vocals — began playing. What would I do in that situation? God only knows. But her awkward jig is burned into our brains, so I hope I would have come up with something a little less memorable.
- Melaniade: Of particular relevance with the impending election was last week’s pre-filmed short, featuring the women in Donald Trump’s life taking him down (and taking him back) à la Beyoncé. If this doesn’t make you laugh, I don’t know what will. It also might make you cringe, but hey, that’s kind of what SNL does best.
- Bruno Mars Is “24K Magic”: I was disappointed to see Emily Blunt hosting last week — not because she married John Krasinski and I loathe her for it — but because I’ve always enjoyed Bruno Mars as a host/musical guest, and he was just singing this time. The thing is, though, he’s never just singing. He’s a performer through and through, and his dynamic dancers put on quite the show.
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.
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 low on sleep but high on energy to bring you all this week’s finds. Here’s hoping I don’t crash before I finish…
- La Croix Cocktails: I previously mentioned my love for La Croix flavored sparkling water. Well, I’m hopelessly addicted now that I have an endless supply at work. Good thing a writer at Gizmodo curated nine cocktail recipes to make with La Croix! Happy hour just got a little happier.
- RunKeeper: With my newfound Run Club at work, I wanted to try this wildly popular app to map my route and pace. The welcome series of emails was a little aggressive, but I’m otherwise pleased with the experience so far. Bonus: It’s on sale for just $20/year — get it while you can!
- Firefly: I recently celebrated three months with my company by joining my referring co-worker and our mutual friend at this spot in Noe Valley. It’s largely veg-focused, but I can attest that the fried chicken and biscuit were also stellar. It was a nice departure from my usual menu, especially with the tart and vibrant fried green tomatoes. Yum!
- Jay Pharaoh: SNL’s king of impressions has done it again — this time, mimicking various rappers. Best of all, host and musical guest Drake had something to say about it. Despite the crap quality (thanks for hoarding your videos, SNL), you won’t be disappointed, fam.*
*Am I using that correctly? I’m too old and white to be cool.
Was last week a whirlwind for you all, too? Even with Thursday off from work, I can’t quite believe how fast Thanksgiving came and went. Oh, and it’s December. Where does the time ever go?
- “The Talented Mr. Ripley”: Speaking of time, step back to the 1950s (or 1999, because that’s how far behind I am) and soak up this thrilling tale of deception and lust. The book was better — yes, I’m an asshole — but the movie is pretty damn good.
- Ryan Gosling Hosts SNL: If time continues to move at warp speed, then Christmas come early indeed. My love for The Gos has become a parody at the office, but my excitement for Saturday is fully genuine. Here’s hoping there’s at least one shirtless sketch!
- “California Christmastime” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: This CW show continues to surprise me week after week, and this finale number from Monday’s episode was another showstopper. It’s a little more referential to SoCal than San Francisco, but all Californians alike are finding ourselves.
- Spiced Pork, Squash & White Bean Soup: I’ve obsessed over Blue Apron for most of this year, and there are often recipes I’d repeat again. But never have I felt so compelled to share — this soup not only made about five servings, but it was so easy to make (once you hack through the squash)! Enjoy 🙂
11/11: Make a wish! Or, you could consider one of these more productive ideas 😉
- Veterans’ Day: I say it every year, but today is just one opportunity of many to thank the servicemen and women who sacrifice it all to serve our country. I’m fortunate to know many active and retired military members, whom I can’t thank enough. I won’t get on a soapbox, but the freedoms we’re fortunate enough to enjoy come at a hefty cost — so JUST DO IT.
- Coffee Cups Cause Commotion: Surely, we have better things to do with our time than debate a coffee cup and its “hidden meaning.” I’m a Christian, and I celebrate Christmas because of Christ — not because of a billion-dollar company’s alleged agenda to take down Jesus. Unfortunately, it’s another example of a few bad apples (or pumpkin spices?) spoiling the bunch.
- Blue Apron Donates Thanksgiving Dinner: It’s no secret I love Blue Apron for its (literally) life-changing service, but here’s another reason to obsess. Now, you can donate your Thanksgiving box of food OR an additional box (and still receive your own). Either way, Blue Apron will match all donations to help feed local families in need! You can donate now until noon ET on November 20.
- “Hotline Bling” Parody – SNL: Last week’s SNL episode, hosted by Donald Trump, left much to be desired… until this ridiculously silly parody popped up. I’m still laughing so hard, I cry — not sure if that says more about the video or me. Either way, enjoy!