Archive for the ‘San Francisco Life’ Category
Recently, an article was written for the New York Times (coincidentally by the husband of one of my favorite bloggers, Joanna from Cup of Joe) about how it can be difficult to make friends after 30. The post has sparked a lot of conversation, and I’ve seen a lot of commentary and social shares from people agreeing or disagreeing with the sentiment of the author, Alex Williams. Williams writes that making friends later in life (your 30s and beyond) can be difficult and is often attributed to us all being a little bit more busy, and a little pickier with what our priorities are and expectations in friendship.
//image// D. Sharon Pruitt
Personally, I’ve been particularly hyper-aware of this during my first year in San Francisco as I’ve been working to fill my “pool of friends,” as Williams calls it. I’ve met a lot of people over this past year and have had many conversations with those who are also in different stages of making new friends: either brand new to a city and what sometimes equates to desperately searching for new friends, struggling to understand the idiosyncrasies of new or changing friendships, or unfortunately, sometimes removing friendships that aren’t working.
I’ve been really lucky in life with friends – close female and male relationships seemingly have come naturally and easily to me thus far. I feel surrounded by friends who feel like my family and a good list I could dial up if shit completely hit the fan, and I needed someone to talk to, pick me up, rescue me, rub my feet and feed me bonbons (just joking – that’s gross).
Saturday I had the immense pleasure of attending a Great-Gastby-themed wine party at CE Cellars Estate in Napa Valley. I first heard about CE Cellars because they were the wine sponsor at a Clue-themed party I attended in May, and the description for their summer kick-off party they were advertising was everything I stand for in life: costumes, games, music, good food, wine and friends. It doesn’t get better than that, people.
I really dig what CE Cellars stands for – CE is an acronym for “casual entertaining” – and they’re about bringing a more personal, less snobby approach to their wine through a social club. Yesterday they poured a wine called, “Fish,” which pairs with – you guessed it – fish. And a super yummy red called, “Steak…” I’ll leave you to finish that one. I’m also kinda in love with their packaging for Bash, their proprietary red blend. The bottle has repeating symbols on it, but features ONE symbol that isn’t repeated. When the wine owner, Preston O’Connor, told me this at the Clue party, I immediately had to search the bottle to find the one non-repeating symbol. It’s fun little schticks like this that I appreciate (why not make a game out of everything in life?!)
Preston hosted the Great Gastby party at his family’s estate in Napa Valley – a breathtaking homestead with gorgeous vineyards leading up to a house in the middle of gardens and a backyard set up with family-style tables for wine tasting and lunch. The grounds even had a pool, poolhouse and outdoor barbecues! How lucky to have grown up in such beauty.
Bay to Breakers… where do I even begin?! I recently heard someone refer to the annual San Francisco celebration as “Pride for Straight People,” which I suppose is pretty accurate (although, as you’ll find from my below pics, B2B is not just “straight people.” But, I digress.
Imagine tens of thousands of people all walking/running the same course through the city, dressed in creative team costumes, crazy attire, tutus, or you know – naked. Throw in some street dance parties, houses with people hanging out the windows and porches crowded up and down the course, and a gigantic city park full of groups lounging – some passed out, some dancing, most drinking. Pepper in boomboxes, bubbles, glitter, shots, fishnets, loud singing, strangers making out, mimosas, and… did I say dance parties? Imagine all of that, and you have Bay to Breakers – the number one weekend to visit San Francisco, if you want to be promised a piece of what makes San Francisco “so San Francisco.”
As my friend Janelle said, and fellow Pink Taco , “Everyone in this city is just loving life.”
You and me too, my friend. You and me too!
Me as a "Pink Taco." Totes inappropriate, I know. (Sorry whomever - read the disclaimer in my side bar).
Soaking up the sun with my friend Lauren.
This past weekend was a balmy 75-80 degrees in the City (weather that only graces San Francisco a couple times a year – it’s sunny here, but it’s not that warm). I got out my shiny sunglasses, warm-weather clothes and spray tan out of a can for a day of glorious, glorious fun and trouble, at a bevvy of spots I haven’t been before. Here’s how you do an 80-degree San Francisco day:
Baker Beach! This little sliver of beach is accessible by walking down 25th St. (off California), through a fancy pants neighborhood with big beautiful houses, until you reach a gate leading to the stretch of sand with a view of the Golden Gate in the background. Music, bathing suits and alcohol permitted! Just follow the rich people road.
Fancy new spring duds from Zara! Have you seen this new “short in the front, long in the back” skirt style that’s been cropping up? I’d like to call it my mullet skirt. OR my business in the front, party in the back skirt. You decide. Only $70 will make you feel like a floaty, girly dream.
Read the rest of this entry »
Our sexy wind-blown look with one of the San Francisco hearts in Union Square. P.S. I'm wearing my fav new leopard-print flats from Lucky Brand.
This weekend I had some old coworkers come stay in San Francisco to visit me and embark on an ultimate splurge girls weekend. For me, it was just what the doctor ordered!
I’ve known Heidi and Kerry since 2008 when bonded while working together in a particularly unpleasant situation. The positive is – we’ve all prevailed and most importantly, remained friends. For each job I’ve had, I’ve been so grateful for the experiences, but also for the people who have touched my life and remained in it as new career opportunities have come my way.
To say that I was flattered and excited that Heidi and Kerry booked a weekend for the three of us to spend time together in San Francisco is an understatement. And of course, we had the very best time. We ate at many amazing restaurants, including Bluestem Brasserie, Franchino, my favorite “inside SF” breakfast spot with a private back garden patio (you’ll have to visit me to find out) and my second dim sum at Great Eastern in Chinatown. We enjoyed the Chinese New Year celebration in San Francisco, and did a lot of shopping in some of San Francisco’s beautiful boutiques on Sacramento and Fillmore Streets. I’ve found some consignment shop gems and came home with Joe’s Jeans for only $50 and brand new black platform pumps from Banana Republic for $22! The trip reminded me (yet again) about how great this city is, and each time I have visitors, it’s so fun to see the city through their eyes. I felt energized and happy after reconnecting with smart, caring women.
Top clockwise: Gorgeous $2,400 Christian Louboutin's we found while shopping; The Chinese New Year in Chinatown; Fro-yo at Fraiche on Fillmore Street; Dinner (and Lemoncino custard ice cream) at Franchino in North Beach.
I’m having a bit of a stressful month, and this weekend was just what I needed to take my mind of loop of anxious thoughts. When I feel stressed, it works for me to “get back to basics” – the basic things that keep me happy and stress free! Some of these in no particular order are: reading, working out, laughing, good meals, girl time and wine. Thank you, Kerry and Heidi, for helping me get back to my basics and visiting me in this fabulous new city of mine. I’m so grateful to have you both in my life!
How do you “get back to basics” when you’re stressed?
Currently Feeling: Loving a low-key Monday after a busy weekend. I might be the only person that actually really enjoys Mondays because they tend to be my quietest day of the week.
Currently Anticipating: The Bachelor tonight – the show that continues to be trashy yet oh-so-addicting and my favorite week day reality TV treat.
Currently Obsessed With: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. GAH! I need an intervention after catching up on the show via Amazon On Demand. Mauricio – so hot. And I love, love the witty British beauty, Lisa!
My birthday *week* is officially coming to a close, and boy was it uber fabulous.
I was super worried about turning 30 away from all my (long-time) friends and family. Would I feel lonely? Would I have anyone to celebrate BIG with? It felt odd to be hitting such a milestone away from those who have spent my entire, or majority of my entire, life with me.
But my blog lovelies, I don’t know what I was so worried about. I felt the love. I felt it from afar, I felt it in San Francisco. I just simply.felt.loved. I guess that’s why birthdays have always been my favorite.
I had many, small celebrations this week with those close to me, which just felt better than the usual big hooplah I throw for myself each year, which ends up being stressful and a big blur. This year, I celebrated with one of my Seattle BFFs who flew in for a quick mid-week trip. She made reservations for us at an Indonesian restaurant I had on my SF Bucket List (smart cookie, she is) and we closed the restaurant down and drank two bottles of red wine with another friend of ours. She brought me the sweetest handmade card I’ve ever received from three of my girl friends who created a list of 30 things they loved about me. I die!
Thursday I did a small group dinner with my Seattle and San Francisco friends. We went to a cool restaurant called State Bird Provisions, which uses the dim sum concept for farm-to-table food (wish I would have thought of that). It was so fun! One of my girl friends made me a cool monogrammed etched glass from a wine bottle. It’s one of the best presents I’ve ever received! I love homemade gifts.
We ended Thursday with countdown-to-30 birthday shots at midnight (*gulp* I needed someone to hold my hand through that transition!) at Cha Cha Cha in the Mission.
By Friday, the snail mail love had rolled in. I received more presents and cards in the mail than I could have ever expected. It made me smile over and over again. (If you sent me something – thank you, deeply, from the bottom of my heart.) If you have a friend’s birthday coming up, mail them a card or small present! Snail mail gifts on your birthday are by far the best thing ever.
And finally, I topped off my birthday week with a fun, small girls night in Napa Valley with two of my San Francisco girl friends. Not only is it mid 60s in California for my January birthday, but it’s also Napa Valley Restaurant Month! So, we drove up for the night of my birthday and stayed at a cute little B&B called Lavender (with birthday balloons, a fireplace and a big jacuzzi tub in our room that we might or might not had a bathing suit, wine and bubble bath celebration in) and had dinner at an amazing restaurant called Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. My birthday cake was a giant marshmallow concoction (natch) called a “Campfire Pie.”
THAT is the definition of an uber fabulous birthday *week*, in my opinion.
And now… I have the rest of my birthday *month* celebrations to look forward to. I am leaving this decade with a bang, I tell you! In less than two weeks, I’ll be in Maui with my mom, dad and sister (the only thing I wanted for my 30th birthday) and in two weeks after that, I’ll be celebrating our 30th year with nine of my high school girl friends on a cruise of the Caribbean.
Is it possible for one person to overdose on birthday celebrations?
I think not!
Currently Feeling: Glad to have slowed down after a crazy week and enjoying a quiet rest of the weekend to myself!
Currently Anticipating: Another hike at Fort Funston tomorrow – a new Sunday routine.
Currently Loving: My new tradition! I’ll share it with you this week.
I participated in my first-ever SantaCon this year (on the 10th anniversary of it’s inception in San Francisco)… it’s definitely a new favorite “holiday” and excuse to dress in costume* that I’ve added to my ever-growing list. I think this always-celebrating, pub-crawling, costume-partying city was made for me…
Also, I’m working my way on being the World’s Best Grandma with the costume box I’m building. Since here, I’ve added Ursula, Wish Bear and Santa to my costume box (and re-worn a hippie and pirate costume). That’s five costumes in seven months. I can’t wait to get my nylon World’s Best Grandma hat someday and wear it proudly with my skinny jeans, Uggs and poncho – the future definition of out-of-date granny gear.
*The red dress I wore for SantaCon, and the green dress I wore for my CareBear costume for Halloween, are both American Apparel’s Nyloc Tricot Figure Skater Dress, which I’m OBSESSED with for costumes and truly want one in every color!
Currently Feeling: So exhausted today after a busy, but SUPER fun, weekend. Totally worth it, but man do weekends like this take it out of me! *Ahem, almost 30, ahem*
Currently Anticipating: Spin class tomorrow, and trying out a cranberry sorbet recipe with some leftover cranberries I have.
Currently Proud Of: A few aesthetic and functional fixes on my blog – click through to see if you’re in a RSS viewer! (I’ve added a “Pin This” button to each post and a small Pinterest feed in my sidebar, among a few other small updates.)
How was everyone’s week of gluttony – the week where we stand up for everything America stands for by lying around and getting FAT on Thanksgiving comfort food?! So haute.
This past week, there were a LOT of posts on Facebook (as I’m sure everyone saw) about what people were thankful for… also a lot of quotes and comments about being thankful all year round instead of just one day, blah, blah, blah.
I know I’m very grateful for the gifts (and amazing talent ) I’ve been given. I frequently talk with my sister, friends, mom and dad about how lucky I feel. I really, really do. But I think because of the reason, season and time, we all give a few more thoughts during Thanksgiving week about what we’re especially grateful for.
I jokingly posted on the interwebs that I was thankful for spandex. Just to cut through the seriousness. But if we’re being serious (for serious, seriously), for me more this year than usual, I’m thankful for “each other.” Or more specifically, my friends and family. As cliche as that sounds, let me explain…
This is a lesson you learn even more so when you move away from home and relocate to a new city: Your 16 circles of people become two circles of people. The people who love you and take interest in your life, are those who call to randomly chat and check in (rather than just checking Facebook) and go out of their way to spend time with you because they love and appreciate your friendship just as much as you do theirs. Two way friendships stick around and one way friendships disappear. You stop taking advantage of the time you spend with those you love (because they are oh.so.missed), and your schedule becomes less spread super thin and more focused on those who just make you feel loved when you’re in their presence. This is what life is about.
It’s not easy to move away from all your life-long friends and family and sometimes sit in your house by yourself when it’s your nature to be social, to see everything your friends are doing at home and wishing with every bone in your being that you could cab to their house and go together, to explore new neighborhoods and lunch spots alone, or to not have a group to plan a camping trip with. I realized more so than ever that my personal relationships are more important to me than anything else in my life. I’m growing and learning and changing and having SOO much fun in a new city, exploring a new side to Jeanna. But I just don’t like being away from the people I love. I don’t at all.
But this is another lesson you learn when you move away from home: You work really hard in a new city to make your “family” – your home away from home – which might be 5 people instead of 30. Five very, very special people. In my new city, I’m surrounded by new friends, new people I’m quickly beginning to love, and a small circle of people who are becoming my family and my home away from home. And now, when I’m home in Seattle, I miss them and the fun they’re having. I want to take a cab to their house and go together. They’re my people to explore new neighborhoods and lunch spots as we navigate a big city together. As we miss our “homes” but choose to make a new home together.
What I learned this year is that I’ll never be able to stay in one spot anymore and not miss someone – this is what happens when you can call two places home… or three… or four.
But, I can go everywhere and find people who will love me, and love everyone back just as much, or even more, regardless of my location.
That’s what I’m thankful for.
Currently Feeling: Annoyed my flight is delayed two hours (again!). Damn you, SFO fog!
Currently Anticipating: Sleeping in my own bed tonight and cuddling Miss Stella!
Currently Loving: My new Kindle Touch! (I totes bought it, even though I totes didn’t need it. Whoopsie. But, I love it so much better than the keyboard one!)
I’m happy to report, blog lovelies, that after six months in San Francisco – I finally have my SF Bucket List up!
Since here, I’ve collected lists everywhere from Notes in my iPhone to e-mail and bookmark folders every time someone mentions a great place, or I read an idea in one of the thousands of San Francisco sites I subscribe to. (My fav is 7×7, if you ever plan to come to San Francisco for vacation and need to know the what’s what on the best food in San Francisco and the best things to do in San Francisco. They’re know for their “lists,” ie: Top 10 Burgers in San Francisco, 100 Things to Eat in SF Before You Die, etc).
Much like my general Bucket List for life that I’ve been working on the last three years, I’ll bold the items and mark it with a date when they’re completed.
If you are one of my Bay Area friends or readers – let me know if there’s anything you want to do with me (or you think I should add).
I already have FOURTY items on the list, so I better get at it! (Most of it is food, so here’s hoping I don’t get fat *fingers crossed*!)P.S. For those of you in love with Bucket Lists like I am, I found this Bucket List Tumblr that’s fun to peruse for ideas!
Currently Feeling: Like I ate too many office snacks. Boooo office junk food – there should be a law against it!
Currently Anticipating: The Geographer show tonight with some girl friends at Rickshaw Stop with drinks/food at Straw in Hayes Valley first. Straw is known for their “carnival fare” (and they serve a hamburger between two glazed donuts!). That’s either really gross or really yummy, but either way tis’ on my SF Bucket List, so I’m off to a good start!
Currently Loving: Peanut Butter Cups from Trader Joe’s! So much better than Reese’s. Why? Cause the peanut butter is creamy, not hard!
Last weekend, one of my bestest girl friends from Seattle came and stayed with me in San Francisco for four days, and it was awesome.
As we get older and lives take each of us on our own journey, the more “busy” everyone becomes. Each of us are caught up in our own affairs – boyfriends, workouts, grad school, long work hours, different cities or states – and it all makes it difficult to see very much of your best friends. So, it was a true gift to spend four nonstop days with this particular BFF in my new city.
Thursday we had the ultimate girly evening – shopping at one of SF’s best clothing boutiques, Ambiance, fantastic sushi at Umami in the Marina, followed by a late evening viewing of The Help, which is so, so, good! As an avid book reader who likes to watch the movie version of the books I read, it was hands down the most satisfying book/movie combination I’ve ever seen.
Friday we picked up another one of our BFFs from college who was in town for one night and hit the city for a fun house party with my San Francisco girl friends followed by an 80s cover band and a late night slumber party with gossip and midnight snacks. (A novelty I haven’t experienced since college). Life needs more slumber parties with girl friends!
Pre-80s band night drinks at my Cait's with old and new friends
Saturday we enjoyed a fabulous brunch and Bloody Mary’s at a friend’s house, traveled out to Tiburon for my first COLD experience at Sam’s on the waterfront, and went on a silly scavenger hunt in the North Beach neighborhood of SF, which was hands down one of my the most fun nights and the most laughing I’ve done in awhile. We sprinted (literally, sprinted) through the streets of North Beach, dodging other teams trying to spray us with whip cream, and trying to find all the funny items on the scavenger hunt list (Snookie look alike, or an “off duty prostitute” and capture them with our iPhone. If you live in SF, you must check out CLASH (California League of Adult Scavenger Hunt) and sign up for your own scavenger hunt (they do them every weekend).
We had to cross "Sausage Fest" off our scavenger hunt list, so we found a sausage store and had a dance fest. Get it?
In between all those plans, we drank a couple glasses of wine, had lots of girl talk, went on many walks and worked out together. It was just such a special time for me to have one of my BFFs experience my new life with me and show her around my new city. I look forward to having weekends like this with her every year! Love you, Kristen! xoxo
Currently Feeling: Extreme relief after finishing all my work for both jobs and turning my vacation responder on – I’m a free woman for three weeks!
Currently Anticipating: A White Party at a winery tonight with all my Seattle friends and lovers.
Currently Loving: My new hair color and fancy straight style (temp). Love getting my hair done.