Adventures in Housesitting

Hello all!

I spent the last week of August housesitting. I should probably refer to this more as catsitting, as the house didn’t need as much attention as the two furballs I was charged with: Lily and Scamp. Since I didn’t do much traveling this summer, I thought I would have a bit of a staycation instead. Because of the crummy bay area weather lately, I unfortunately only got one day poolside, but I did spend a whole lot of time entertaining the rascal cats! They turned out to be quite the handful, in the best way possible.

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You know it’s “vacation” when your evening email perusal involves a can of champagne & a bendy straw.

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Despite my staycation consisting of things that I normally do (laundry, making dinner, etc.), it was nice to have a bit of a change of pace, a change of environment. Having two kitties follow me around certainly helped make me feel more at home. Despite being brother and sister, their little personalities couldn’t have been more different. Scamp (the giant cat sitting awkwardly in his cat tree above) behaved more like a dog than anything, constantly bringing me his toys and meowing at me incessantly. I would occasionally have entire conversations with him—he was a very Chatty Cathy. Lily, on the other hand, would only come out when I brought out food or when she was feeling like having a bit of attention. She was most definitely the more sensitive one of the two, but grew more used to having me around as the week wore on.

On top of having the cats to keep me entertained, I really enjoyed having a bit more space to spread out. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my little apartment, but it felt oddly luxurious to have a living room to have a cup of coffee in each morning. And of course there was the pool access! In short, I would highly recommend the occasional “staycation” vacation. It would have been lovely to have a few extra days off, but I’m currently squirreling away my vacation days to visit family back in Austria in November. I know that vacation is mere months away, and I’m so looking forward to it. In the meantime, I still get to visit the cats and lounge poolside, weather permitting. I certainly can’t complain.

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello all!

I’m back this week with Five Things!

Things are feeling rather hectic in my life at the moment, but in a good way. I’m wrapping up my summer and gearing up for another season at the ballet, as well as another school year. In the meantime, I’ve been handling life’s challenges like any adult would, by ordering things off of Nordstrom Rack at odd hours and marathoning horrible reality television. You do what you gotta do. 

I also continue to have the most San Francisco experiences ever in life—things like trying not to get hit by the Google bus on my work commute and paying $10 for a smoothie. That’s right. My name is Eva, and I’m a giant sucker who paid $10 for a smoothie with cold-pressed juice. I wanted it to give me super-powers and alas, it was just sorta tasty. With that brilliant segue, let me get to this week’s Five Things! Starting with…
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Juice! Black juice! I saw this and I had to snap a photo. I can’t help but think that this is similar to what they might force feed you in the hospital if you’ve had too much to drink. Mmm…activated coconut charcoal, anyone?

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I’ve recently become aware of these little “fairy doors” hidden all over my little island. This was the first one I discovered when walking around my neighborhood one afternoon. I like that this particular fairy family is politically active.

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While roaming around a very different neighborhood in San Francisco, I saw this brilliant mural. I give you: Prince as “The Little Prince.” It was quite the bright spot in my day, discovering this.

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I’m still finding quite a bit of artwork around my island. This fabulous mermaid print jumped right out at me at our latest Art & Wine Festival.

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While I’ve purchased quite a few books lately, a friend of mine recommended Heather Havrilesky’s How To Be A Person In The World, and I’m sorely tempted to pick it up. Has anyone else read this yet? I’m currently making my way through another Game of Thrones novel, a book of poetry by Warsan Shire, and a series of short stories.

Happy Wednesday everyone! We made it!

EVA♥

Sometimes I Think About Things…

Hello everyone.

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Sometimes, I think about how I would like to leave everything behind and move somewhere new. I would leave my little apartment with my purple bathroom that I love so much and start completely over, in a field I know nothing about. Sometimes I think about what it would be like if I moved to Vegas.

“Hi, my name is Eva, I’m a well-educated 20-something woman who just wants to wear a glittery costume and get paid to dance around a club all evening.”

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Sometimes I feel as if I’m in a constant swirl of trying to make connections, of trying to impress strangers, to prove my mettle as a “professional” adult. Most people around me have five-year plans and long-term career goals. The more I try to blend in, the more apparent it becomes that I’m always going to be me—a little bit goofy, a little bit too enthusiastic, and a tad bit doe-eyed about life in general. Add in a dash of neuroses and you have me in a nutshell. Like most people, my life certainly didn’t pan out the way I planned it to, and I’m not entirely sure what to do about it. I felt the sudden compulsion to make changes in my life, the equivalent of sticking bandaids on things that seem to be much more deeply affected.  I wanted to be more blonde, I wanted to start lifting weights, and I wanted to get a tattoo (or two). Ultimately, I wanted to stop trying to impress people with my perceived “quality of life.” I know that I don’t want to be someone who only looks good on paper.  I can’t imagine a life where the standard “What do you do/Where do you live/Who are you married to?” questions ultimately define me as a person.

I recently read an article by Noelle Hancock entitled “I Wrote an Essay About Moving to an Island and Scooping Ice Cream. I Wasn’t Prepared for the Response.”  It was, as I’m sure you can guess, a follow-up to a lifestyle piece she had written for Cosmopolitan years earlier about quitting her $95k-a-year-job and moving to an island in the Caribbean with no plan. I have a sudden respect for the people who have the urge to do things like this. A simple job seems to be wildly refreshing at times. I can easily imagine myself in an environment where my only job is to smile, wear the ridiculous outfit, and occasionally wave a glowstick. Sometimes I feel incredibly guilty for thinking about things like this because the little voice in my head yells “Oh my god! You graduated from one of the top universities in California! You can’t dance around in a bikini for a living!!”

Part of the reason I started blogging was that it forced me to be accountable. I couldn’t just write something on scratch paper and throw it away later because I was too embarrassed to share it. There are still plenty of things in my life that I’m embarrassed to share, but I’d like to think there’s a bit a bravery behind each post I publish. Especially when I write something as brazen as admitting that I have dreams of being a go-go dancer from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written quite a bit about how lucky I feel to work in a field I’m so passionate about. Seeing and cultivating art almost everyday is something not very many people get to do, and even on the hard days, I’m immensely grateful for it.

But something else tells me I would be the best glowstick-waver ever.

EVA♥

Life Lately

Hello all!

It’s been quite a while since my last Life Lately post. Things have been interesting, to say the least! I’m trying to navigate a new role at work, one where I get to be more creative and actually write for a living! It’s a little nutty for me to think about, because it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for quite and yet never quite wrapped my head around the possibility. I even recently published my first blog on my company’s site here. Writing in a professional context, and writing copy more often than not, is quite the change to get used to, but I’m looking forward to learning new tricks, so to speak. That being said, I often come home with my brain feeling like a wrung-out sponge, with most of my energy having gone into whatever tasks I needed to accomplish that day. Sometimes, the idea of slapping away at another keyboard can be a little daunting. I know I’m not alone here, right?

So, when the evenings and weekend roll around, I try to hit the proverbial reset button. Not so much “flatlining,” as I like to call it, more like changing gears. I usually overbook myself and try to get as much done as possible. This past weekend, for example, I spent the majority of my time at my very first work retreat. While the weather was a bit dismal for August, the view from the coastal retreat center was pretty amazing. That, and the bottomless cups of coffee made up for the unending fog. Welcome to the Bay Area, everyone!

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My Saturday then suddenly went from cups of coffee in the fog, to champagne punch poolside in the course of a few hours. I certainly can’t complain! In all, I have to say that I really enjoyed getting to know all of my coworkers a bit better. Nothing quite says bonding experience like bunking together like you’re back in college! On top of everything else, I was inadvertently thrown into a family dinner party situation. And by situation I mean helping my parents navigate my aunt and uncle’s large going-away dinner at the very last minute. I ended up showing up late, with wet hair, and frantically eating in the kitchen while trying to somehow navigate simultaneously serving tea and socializing with everyone.  This is what I mean by overbooking myself.  In short, while things are going well, they seem a bit hectic lately, to say the leat. I’m hoping I’ll navigate everything gracefully, and not bite off more than I can chew. Hey, this blog is called “Watch Me Juggle” for a reason!

Oh, and I’ve decided to celebrate my birthday all month long. Because I can.

That is all—until next time!

EVA♥

Vegas.

Hello everyone.

As some of you might already know, I recently celebrated the last birthday of my 20s. If anyone asks, I recently turned 25. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it. A while back, I wrote about turning 27— how 27 was my “scary” age, and how I was closer to being “almost 30.” Well…as people like to remind me, the big 3-0 is now looming, and while I feel somewhat my age, I recall yelling at my friends over the music in the club:

“This is not where I imagined myself at 29!!”

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In actuality, it was even better than what I had imagined.

I had the best time. I danced until the sun came up, had countless drinks, enjoyed the warm weather poolside, stayed in a beautiful hotel, and even won $2.19!  It’s a strange phenomenon, Las Vegas. Each time I go, I can’t imagine how I could have a better time than before. Each time, I’m surprised. The people were personable and fun; everyone did the mandatory “surprised face” when I told them how old I was turning. One bouncer even exclaimed “Aw, you’re 20, aren’t you? This isn’t a real ID. We’re letting you in? You’re not even legal!” Well played, sir.

Although I can’t imagine staying much longer than three days at a time, coming home from Las Vegas is the hardest part. It’s truly the adult equivalent of Disneyland. There are few cities that have the energy of Vegas—it’s a “choose your own adventure” kind of place. There’s a seedy grittiness to it, as well as ridiculous excess and glamour.  At one point, I watched cocktail waitresses spray over a dozen bottles of champagne into a pool full of people. You can’t make this stuff up. I won’t deny that I perhaps imagined that my life would turn out a bit differently when I was younger (homeowner, ex-pat, novelist?), but I must say that I’m very happy it’s turned out the way it has.

Happy almost-30 to me!

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello all!

It feels like the last few days have stretched on for weeks, not because they’ve been so laborious or tedious, quite the opposite! I have many life updates to get to, and while they’re all (for the most part) very exciting things, today calls for a relaxed Five Things. Before we get into all the craziness that has been my life lately (birthday celebrations, travels, job changes), I wanted to take a quick look back at the less-than crazy (even inspirational) things as of late.

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Photo: Mary Lee Shalvoy

Why is the photo so naugahyde-esque, you may ask? I recently did a photoshoot with the lovely Mary Lee Shalvoy (whose photos of my legs you can see here), and this was one of the photos I captured in the studio, moments after it was taken. It’s a sneak-peak for now, but I’m sure you’ll be seeing more official shots very soon!
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Just last week I celebrated my friend’s mother’s birthday at Dante Robere Vineyards in Livermore, CA. While Livermore might be the last place that comes to mind when you think of wine, I was so pleasantly surprised. We enjoyed a tacos and live music on the lawn as the sun set—it was such a nice evening!

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I’ve been to my fair share of festivals, flea markets, and fairs as of late. I’ve really been enjoying the art and the hodgepodge of antiques, and this wood painting (I believe the technique of wood-burning is referred to as pyrography) really caught my eye.

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I recently took a quick flight down to LA for a friend’s baby shower, that ended up serving as a mini college reunion of sorts. Following the shower, we spent some time in Santa Monica at The Misfit catching up over cocktails. If you’re ever there, dear readers, ask them for a cookie. You won’t regret it!

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My friend Stephanie is what I would call a plant fanatic. Point to any succulent you see and she would have it’s scientific name ready to go. It’s quite impressive, really, and has made me appreciate them so much more. Too bad I have a bit of a brown thumb.

Happy Wednesday!

EVA ♥

Swan Floaties & Superglue

Hello everyone!

We’ve all seen those photos. All of those “basic” Instagram girls laying nonchalantly on their inflatable swans/donuts/slices of pizza. They look incredibly effortless and cool with their perfectly tousled hair. Well…I found myself at a pool party with a giant inflatable swan this past July 4th, and I couldn’t help but attempt to be one of those girls. Unfortunately, it’s all too often in my life that things don’t quite work out the way I would hope. This was definitely one of those moments.

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So festive!

I’m going to be honest: actually getting on the swan was a challenge in and of itself. At one point, I thought I had it, only for the entire thing to fly out from under me, dump me in the pool, and land on my head. It was amusing, to say the least. Once securely on the swan, I pretended to look comfortable and begged someone to indulge me and take a picture.

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This was the one and only photo my friend Emily was able to take, before having a legitimate medical emergency. I wish I was kidding.

On the left-hand side of the pool, the pool railing was quite wobbly and broken. Not thinking anything of it, she got a bit too close while taking pictures, and the exposed metal edge of the railing dug completely into her foot. Now, in all my years of teaching, one thing I’ve had to make a concerted effort at is remaining calm. Panicking when people have potentially seriously injured themselves is never helpful, and usually just aggravates any situation. At first, I thought she had simply stubbed her toe, but when we got a look at the deep cut on her foot, I found myself suddenly repeating: “It’s going to be okay. Do you want some tequila? Let me get you a drink!!” I was trying to make myself useful, while clearly not knowing what to do at all. (I obviously take after my Austrian side of the family, who believe either Jäger or schnapps can cure just about anything.) When in doubt, take a shot…?

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Luckily, we had a few people on hand with some at-home-first-aid experience. While I was totally useless, a former Army medic at our party busted out a tube of superglue, and proceeded to actually glue my friend’s cut together. Very nonchalantly, he told us all about the everyday household items that worked wonderfully as medical supplies: duct tape, tampons, you name it. As unfortunate as the whole situation was, I’m glad we had so many caring people around. After a trip to Walgreens and a beer served in a giant horn, we were able to continue the long weekend, far away from the pool.

Keep calm and carry on, everyone. Also, when in doubt, carry superglue.

EVA♥

Five Things

Hi all!

I’m feeling oddly accomplished today. I’m sure most people can commiserate when I say that work usually takes all of my energy, but I experienced a second wind! After forcing myself to do the mundane errands I had been putting off for a while, I came home to find a package at my doorstep (an early birthday treat!), and my mood instantly turned around. I know I constantly say that the little things are sometimes the best things in life, but it’s true! Just in the last hour after my surprise, I’ve managed to get dinner on the stove, catch up on some trashy Bravo tv watching, and get in a bit of writing as well. And here I thought this day was a bust…

And so, with my usual stream-of-consciousness introduction, I give you this week’s Five Things:

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Having once worked in a florist’s shop, I can’t help but recognize a beautiful bouquet when I see one. These tulips are unique in that they have not one but three layers of petals. So pretty!

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I celebrated a coworker’s birthday the other day at the very retro Ice Cream Bar in San Francisco’s Cole Valley neighborhood. Their Sunday Morning cocktail (strawberry lemon sorbet topped with Mumm champagne) hit the spot.

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This past weekend, I went on my first visit to the infamous Cream, land of the ice cream cookie sandwiches. I got a mini chocolate chip ice cream sandwich with one of their seasonal flavors, and it was the perfect treat to end the evening on! (Yes, I know…two ice cream things this week. Can you blame me?)

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Photo c/o S-curve Apparel

I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes like to motivate myself with treats. When I find myself needing an extra push to get to ballet class in my limited spare time (lunchtime barre, anyone?), I occasionally buy a new pair of shoes or a leotard to get myself out the door. One of our former dancers at Smuin, the lovely Susan Roemer, is also the mastermind behind S-Curve Apparel & Design. I’ve been eyeing her unique leotards for quite a while now, so when her newest style was released, I snapped one right up.

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I saw these new, eye-catching tic-tacs while waiting in line at the local Walgreens one day. I found them extremely amusing; from the banana flavor, to the fact that each entire package has a name. One catch: I just don’t think I could ever bring myself to eat Bob, Stuart, or Kevin.

Banana!!

EVA♥

Urban Night Market

Hello all!

Growing up in the Bay Area, I can often remember times where I felt like there was absolutely nothing to do on my little island. Granted, the only movie theater in my town closed when I was in elementary school, and only reopened long after I had left for college. Luckily, things tend to change quite a bit when you return to your hometown as an adult. While I’m still spending a ton of time around the studio, most of my leisure time goes to exploring the area- visiting the newest restaurants, meeting my friends for a cocktail, and finding the best cup of coffee. Of all the places out there, one of my favorite has popped up where I would least expect: the old Navy base right here on Alameda.

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It’s Rock Wall Wine Company!

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Rocking my favorite new signature Alameda hat from Honour brand.

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In addition to the usual tasting room and cheese plates you might find at any winery, Rock Wall boasts an amazing view of the San Francisco skyline. On occasion, they host events, like the Urban Night Market I recently went to. Complete with drinks, food trucks, aerialists, local vendors, and much more; it was quite a nice way to spend an evening on the island. When I tell my friends from out of town about the hidden gem that is Rock Wall, they immediately assume that something like that (Local wine? Lobster rolls? Views of the Bay Bridge?) must be on the expensive side. Not only is it affordable, but it’s relatively accessible, once you figure out where on the base you’re going, that is! When you’re there, make sure to take the time out to visit the historic aircraft carriers, St. George distillery, and the famous Alameda Antiques fair. What can I say? It seems my little island in the bay is up-and-coming!

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello everyone!

I’m back today with my usual Five Things. This week seems to have a bit of a rainbow theme in effect. Show me someone who doesn’t like rainbow-colored things, and I’ll show you a big fat liar. I’ve gather this weeks “things” from a variety of locations, namely the local Whole Foods, Books Inc., and my favorite cookie delivery people. One would think that I’m hawking for all these people, but I’m afraid not! (If anyone has any connections, please put me in touch with them *wink wink*) Don’t ever hesitate to add some sprinkles to your life. It’s always appropriate…

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Along with Pride in San Francisco came these rainbow unicorn cupcakes. I could almost not bring myself to eat this majestic frosting. Also, I have to give credit to whoever is crafting little chocolate unicorns. Amazing!

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Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: a Pinterest recipe! I was inspired by this recipe from Veuve Cliquot that combines vanilla ice cream, raspberries, and champagne. It was a hit- especially in the Fourth of July heat!

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When all else fails, nothing can brighten up your day quite like a cookie covered in rainbow sprinkles. I’m partial to Doughbies, based here in San Francisco, that will deliver freshly baked cookies directly to you in under 20 minutes.

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I’ll admit that I was a bit apprehensive of the adult coloring book trend that seems to have taken hold recently, but this fantastic display finally has me convinced. I even came across some actual “adult” coloring books- chock full of phrases that would make the FCC have a fit. The dichotomy never fails to make me laugh!

 

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Image c/o Butlikemaybe

Butlikemaybe has to be my new favorite Instagram account. I love the simple illustrations coupled with all too relatable (albeit hilarious) scenarios. You can find some of my other favorite posts here, here, and here.

Happy Wednesday!

EVA ♥