Posts Tagged ‘Friends & Laughter’
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).
I’m currently in Miami, blog lovelies! I know I just got back from Hawaii and haven’t even written about that trip, yet I’m off again.
I’m really lucky to have two vacations early in 2012… both are to celebrate my 30th birthday, and just happened to be planned months ago to occur around the same time. (It feels a bit gluttonous, not gonna lie).
This trip I’m about to embark on is with eight of my high girl besties (nine of us total). We planned a Caribbean cruise together to celebrate all of us turning 30 this year.
I’m so excited to reconnect with all of them – it’s literally been since high school since we’ve all been together like this, in one place, without significant others. How fun! We also have theme nights packed for the cruise. (As you probably know, I refer to myself as a “Theme Party Whore” because I love them so much!) We’ll be doing an all-white party, neon night, nautical night and fancy dress night.
Right now I’m in South Beach, Miami – poolside – waiting for the other girls to arrive tonight. Tomorrow evening we’ll board the boat that will take us to Jamaica and St. Thomas! I’ve never been on a cruise boat, so this is all a very exciting adventure. Bon voyage!
Currently Feeling: Like a sunbathing queen – reading in the sun is my happy place.
Currently Anticipating: Seeing my best friends when they get in, and enjoying a dinner out in South Beach tonight.
Currently Loathing: That’s there’s a lot of smokers in Miami (smoking at my pool, no less!) Gross.
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.
Well, my friends – 2011 is officially gone and past. For me, it was a “Banner Year.” I made it my goal to end 2011 and my 20s with a bang, and I feel like I succeeded. I know my journalism professors are turning over in their yet-to-be-filled graves by the use of the “banner year” and “out with a bang” cliches, but sometimes cliches feel oh so right. I’m just so full of love, luck and happiness in my life these days, it makes my heart three times its size.
As I look back and say goodbye to 2011, I’m simultaneously looking back and saying goodbye on my 20s since I’ll turn 30 in two short weeks. Oh how, oh how, do you write a post summing up an entire decade?! My general conclusion is that life.is.good. Each year I’ve learned to right a few wrongs, improve just a titch, enjoy new and exciting hobbies, cross off many bucket list items, and really revel in all the joy friends, family and success can bring. I feel like I’ve slowly been growing each year into a better version of myself than the year before, and I’m so excited to jump into 2012 – my first full year living in San Francisco. I have a lot of thoughts around what I want my year to look like, which I’ll also be sharing with you this week, along with the bucket list rundown of 2011/2012. But first, I thought it’d be easier to create a video recap of my year instead of posting a 900 word diatribe with 100 photos.
So, I present to you … a video recap of what I was doing in 2011 as the days kept turning into night:
Currently Feeling: Glad to have finished that video! Has taken me all week, but I’m getting better at iMovie. It’s pretty fun!
Currently Anticipating: Jersey Shore starting this week! Is that bad to admit?
Currently Wishing: I could have just been in Maui with my family over my actual birthday – hate stressing about celebrations. :/
Another Christmas season has come and gone – and I’m wrapping up a December spent holidaying in San Francisco (SantaCon, a holiday lights tour via double decker bus, ice skating in Union Square and a Favorite Things party) and Seattle (12 days of Seattle Christmas, which included a fancy girls dinner and Snowflake Lane viewing, catch-up dinner with my Bali girls, 50s holiday party at a winery, two Taco Tuesdays, and the annual high school girls Christmas party gift exchange).
Ice skating in Union Square - a new annual tradition for me - so fun!
Posing with a rare, endangered polar bear at Snowflake Lane in Bellevue
A 50s holiday gala at Matthew's Estate Winery
Phew! It’s been a busy, fun Christmas for me this year. And the first one I’ve been totally healthy for in three years, so that felt amazing.
Santa skipped our house this year because in less than one month, my sister, mom, dad and I will be flying to Maui to celebrate my 30th birthday (which is just two weeks away)!!! I was happy to spend Christmas with my friends and family, and I feel lucky to have pretty much everything I want, so skipping presents was all right by me.
Each year, my mom plays gracious host of a large family holiday extravaganza at our house on Christmas Eve. The party is full of traditions – “Cosmo Chi Chis” that my dad mixes for the drinkers, a Honey Baked Ham for our sit-down dinner, zero presents allowing for zero stress, and lots of laughs.
This year's holiday outfit = festive burgundy tights, gold flats and feathers on my dress!
This year my mom threw together a new “Holiday Wreath Salad” from Icon Grill in Seattle. How gorgeous is this salad?! It includes dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, toasted hazelnuts, apples, red pepper, and a pomegranate vinaigrette. I love the festive presentation of it!
I’m utterly exhausted after two awesome weeks spent catching up with my Seattle loved ones and am so ready to go home and see my beauty queen kitty and lie on my couch for 48 hours. I’m planning a few posts over the next two weeks, including:
- The homemade sugar scrubs I made for some of my friends this year (that were AMAZING)
- All about my latest obsession – my FitBit!
- The epic 2011 recap (by far the biggest and brightest year I’ve had yet)
- A night spent delivering newspapers the old fashioned way!
- And a few more Best of SFs and fun recipes I’ve tried off Pinterest
Hope everyone is enjoying their quiet week before we head into 2012… I’m full on ready to start my first full year in San Francisco!
Currently Feeling: Annoyed my flight is delayed for two hours! Happens to me every time I fly from Seattle to SFO.
Currently Anticipating: Seeing my friends and finishing out this week with some fun plans in SF.
Currently Loving: Marzipan! Each year I get a ton in my Christmas stocking, and it’s just too dang yummy for words.
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!)
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.
Last week this San Francisco thing started to feel REAL. I might have mentioned in this blog post that apartment searching felt REAL real. But now it’s REAL, real, REAL.
I’m sure I’ll come back to you after tomorrow and Wednesday – the pack the move truck and drive out of Seattle days – and then it’ll be REAL, real, REAL, real, REAL.
Um, yeah. This is happening.
I’ve been talking about the move and going through the motions for a month now, checking off my laundry list of to-dos. But, up until last week, I don’t know I really sat down to think that this all means I’m leaving Seattle, specifically the Queen Anne neighborhood – my home for the last eight years. Eight.years. How did THAT happen?!
I started off the week with packing up some of my apartment, which was the first moment that I was all, “Um, what am I DOING?!” I fought back a few tears only because my roommate was home. Otherwise I think I would have been blubbering with snot on my face in sweats, spooning cake frosting into my mouth ala Goldie Hawn in “Death Becomes Her.” Remember that part?! Love that movie.
After making it through the “packing up my entire life” hump, I ended the week with a Cinco de Mayo going away party with MUSTACHES. This is the third party I’ve thrown with fake mustaches. Some of you might think that’s weird. I think it’s awesome. Throw a mustache party, and I promise it’ll be the most you’ve laughed in a long time. And afterwards the photos are even more hilarious. Everything is made better with mustaches. Even moving away from your best friends and family.
So, this is where the move gets the hardest. The Space Needle view can be replaced. The 25 restaurants I was dying to try and never got a chance to can be visited when I’m home for Christmas or the summer. The fabulous Seattle summer weather will be replaced by fabulous San Francisco Indian summer weather. The festivals I love so much that I go to every year – Oktoberfest, Summer Solstice Festival, The Bite of Seattle – those will all be replaced with San Francisco’s version.
But the people – oh the people of Seattle. Those of you who have made me laugh daily, met me for brunches and happy hours and barbecues at Golden Gardens, shared cabins in Eastern Washington with me and the drive over with Sparks, attended birthday parties and dressed up for each and every one of them, eaten drunken nachos and fried macaroni triangles, sat next to me while I cried, cheered on my dreams and career moves (or lack there of during my summer of Funemployment), held my hand occasionally or ever loved me as much as I loved you, and worn mustaches for me every time I’ve asked. You know who you are. YOU can’t be replaced, my friend. And that is what makes this move to San Francisco to exciting, so freakin’ freakin’ exciting. But so bittersweet at the same time.
Currently Feeling: Pretty good with where I’m at timing wise – almost all packed up and ready to go.
Currently Anticipating: One last Peso’s visit tonight for happy hour. All roads lead to Peso’s. If you ever find yourself in Seattle – GO! Best happy hour in the city.
Currently Needing: A picture frame for my new San Francisco Ork Poster my BFF bought me!
As one of my blog tags suggest, I am totally a theme party whore. I loooove them. I love going to them; I love throwing them.
Throughout my 20s, I’ve thrown some pretty good theme parties, including but not limited to: a silver birthday party for my silver 25th birthday party, a Dirty 30 party for my ex-boyfriend’s 30th with a boob cake and dirty mustaches, a Mustache and Sombrero birthday party (what party is complete without mustaches?!), a Sexual Chocolate party (Passion Party + chocolate fondue)… and now a Roaring 20s theme for my 29th Birthday!
Since 29 is the last year of my magnificent 20s, I decided to celebrate it with a Roaring 20s theme. I researched decorations, food, costumes and all the details. Here’s what I did, and how you can throw your own Roaring 20s Party.
I chose a private party space in Seattle called The Upstairs, which had a “speakeasy” vibe. The entrance was a nondescript door in the city, and guests had to walk upstairs to what looked like an underground bar during Prohibition… lights were strung across the ceiling, handmade art adorned all the walls and guests could dance or sit on velvet couches and chairs to chat. (If you live in Seattle, seriously have your party here! It’s owned by Cory, the brain behind Pinxto – and he is AWESOME at accommodating needs and wants to make your party special!)
To get the guests into the Prohibition mindset, I sent an invite with an address that said the party was at “a door next to” a popular bar in Seattle, and gave them each a password to give at the door to get in (something that was often done during Prohibition for entrance into underground bars). Then I hired a door guy to ask guests what their password was at the door. (Gin Fizz!)
Tall vases of feathers and Cali lilies were on tables, feathers adorned bar and tabletops, and I purchased boxes of candy cigarettes to set around the party too. I also had glass candy dishes with gummy bears and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – candies that were both invented in the 1920s, and bowls of nuts on the bar top – another popular snack food in the 20s.
My mom catered the party, and we researched popular party foods in the 20s, and dishes invented in the 20s. The menu included:
Shrimp cocktail (popular party food in the 20s)
Zucchini chips (zucchinis came to the U.S. in the 20s)
Deviled eggs (egg creams were popular in the 20s)
Waldorf Salad (served to President Coolidge in 1924 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in NYC)
Brie cheese platter (popular party food in the 20s)
Olives (popular party snack in the 20s)
Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes (dessert invented in 1925 after Dole’s pineapple recipe contest)
Then I created and printed little tags with rhinestones that said the food, the year it was invented and were displayed using photo holders I bought at Michael’s Crafts for $1!
The bar created a custom cocktail list for me, which included:
Mint Julep (whiskey, mint, soda water)
Gin Fizz (gin, lemon, powered sugar & soda water)
French 75 (gin, lemon & Cava champagne)
Roaring Jeanna (whipped cream vodka & soda water – my fav drink!!)
All my guests dressed in 1920s costumes! What do these look like, you ask?! Mostly flappers in fishnets, black wigs, feather headbands and garter belts for the ladies – but also slip dresses with a low hemline, pin curls and pearls. For the boys – gangster gear or just plain suits, suspenders and fedoras.
I hired a photographer and set up a “photo booth” area for my guests with 1920s props such as feather boas, a fake cigar, pearl necklaces, a martini glass and a chalkboard to write fun messages on for the pics. I also created a box and a sign that said, “What Should I Do the Last Year of My 20s?” and asked guests to write their advice for me on little white cards and place them in the box. I’m going to spend this year actually trying to accomplish all the advice from my friends (another post coming on that soon!)