…and a Piñata

Hello all!

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It was recently my friend Rachel’s birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with a sunny backyard barbecue? We had the required array of food: hot dogs, barbecue chicken, salads, chips and dip.  There was good weather, good company, and good food, so it was a perfect afternoon in my book. Also, there was a piñata. I’m sure you could gather as much from the photos.

The innocuous, sparkling Dora the Explorer-covered star seemed to bring out the security dog in Maddie. She was entirely determined to rescue us all from its threatening presence. If you look closely, the star seems to only have four points, as she dismembered it as we were in the process of stringing it up. We had to remove her from the yard just so the birthday girl could take the piñata out properly. Of course, we let Maddie have her fun with the remnants, yet she wasn’t happy until she had systematically taken it apart. Bless her- I’m convinced the sparkling streamers just weren’t her style.

The afternoon also happened to coincide with Fleet Week, so we had the pleasure of having a Blue Angels flyover. I told Rachel it was entirely in honor of her birthday, obviously. I left the party with a purse full of candy- some things never change.

I can’t believe that October is flying by so quickly! I’m looking forward to getting into the Halloween spirit, and am steadily stocking up on my pumpkin-flavored goodies from Trader Joe’s. I’m enjoying Fall while I can…only 63 more days until Christmas, and not enough hours in the day.


Halloween circa 2008

Hello everyone!

Here’s a little belated #TBT for you!

Halloween is coming up, and is frequently the topic of discussion between myself and my students. (“I’m gonna be a dead race car driver!” Creative.) I sometimes make a point of telling them that Halloween is not quite the same when you’re an adult. The emphasis is less on your fantastic costume, and more on how to get the more belligerent trick-or-treaters to stop doorbell-ditching your house.Yes, I’m slowly turning into the “Get off my lawn!” woman.  Sure, some of my more festive friends host little parties, usually involving pumpkin carving or a horror film screening, but that’s about it. While I lament this “aging-out” of Halloween fun, I’m totally satisfied knowing that there once was I time where I celebrated Halloween in the most ridiculous manner conceivable.

As some of you might already know, I went to college in Santa Barbara, which also happens to be land of the week-long Halloween. This is not an exaggeration. Every year, thousands of college students would make the pilgrimage to Isla Vista, and fill the flood light-lined streets.  It was a whole weekend of mayhem- streets were closed and mounted police invaded our beachside town to corral the mob of costumed students. Speaking of costumes, you were some sort of loser if you didn’t have at least three different costumes lined up. Case in point, the below photos are all from a single Halloween my senior year.

I was an 80’s rockstar, who, by the end of the night looked like Alice Cooper, as we all got caught in a surprise downpour and my mascara ran down my face, leaving black tracks.


A pirate, a rag doll, and myself, alongside the Powerpuff Girls. Oh, and a grown man dressed as a crayon in the background.


Walking down Del Playa Dr. One of the main streets in Isla Vista.


I was also Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, which was possibly the most comfortable costume ever! My version of Lara Croft wears Uggs, okay.


My roommate Maren and I made quite the team; she went as Indian Jones. I brandished my two-dimensional guns, and she discovered the lamp in our living room…so many adventures.


Photos c/o Maren Masterson & Jessica Rodriguez. Hi ladies!

We always managed to host a new group of friends in our living room every year. It’s not everyday you come back from class and have to step over five people to get to your room! Costumes not pictured that I wore the same year are: Mango, the Chris Kattan inspired exotic dancer from SNL, “Super Gaucho” our school mascot, and a fairy, specifically for ballet class the day of Halloween proper. A total of five, altogether.

After that, it’s hard to find anything that lives up to the Halloween memories of my college years. No matter how spectacular your costume is, it’s just one costume. And you might be surrounded by friends, but not all of them want to sleep on the floor of your living room, or want to take twenty deliberately embarrassing photos to post to Facebook. Those were the good, uncomplicated days. There’s a lot of things that I miss about them. Gaucho ’til I die.


Favorite Places

Hello everyone!

Those of you who know me, know that I’m a fan of going on adventures. I’ll use anything as a motivation: a mundane errand, a really good lunch, a stopover on the way to something else…you name it! So it’s funny that in a place that’s ultimately know for its fabulous wine and vineyards, I go for the cheeseburgers. Now, granted that this last weekend was bloody hot, I opted for something a little bit different with Ahi Poke tacos.  My favorite spot in Napa, Gott’s Roadside, formerly of Taylor’s Automatic Refresher fame, is the place to go if you want a no-frills good food, with a little bit of a Napa twist. And, while there’s almost always a sizable line at this diner, the trick is to get a refreshing glass of wine to keep you company while you decide on your order. What’s even better is its great proximity to a number of sprawling wineries. Did you know that there’s a castle in St. Helena? Neither did I. Unfortunately, my poorly charged brick of a phone gave out before I could take a vast amount of pictures. There’s always next time…


Oh, hello Bowzer. As you can see, I was feeling a bit grungy that day.


The best meal for a hot day. Fresh and delicious.



Oh, hey, wine country castle! I was perhaps the biggest fan of the wine cellar at Castello di Amorosa, as well as the outdoor Roman-style bathtub. A girl could get used to that.


Photo c/o Patrick Baron

Remember my Summer List? While it looks like I might not have been able to make it SUP’ing this year, I did get to spend a last day on the last official weekend of summer in St. Helena.

Whatever…I’m still all for wearing white after Labor Day.


Five Things

Hello everyone!

The Wednesday after a long weekend always sneaks up on you. I found myself making plans for Wednesday yesterday, not realizing it was a day away! Vacations are so hard, everyone. So, whilst trying to adopt a sense of normalcy before my first week back at work kicks off, here’s this week’s Five Things!


I’m so excited to have made my first purchase from Bauble Bar! I’m trying to actively avoid looking at their website, because I’m fairly certain that I might end up buying more fun, unnecessary accessories. I loved that when I opened my package, it seemed almost as excited as I was. Yay!


A little snippet from @WatchMeJuggle Instagram- Some salty dogs, and one of my best dog-friends, Theo at the monthly Treasure Island Flea Market. They had a buy-one-get-one happy hour…starting at 10am. Possibly not the best idea…


I can’t believe I never knew about this amazing view from Treasure Island. This weekend was so amazingly beautiful. I wish I had an excuse to go out there every week.


In other news, I discovered a local coffee company from Oakland making what they dub “Black Medicine.” This was the most delicious pre-made latte I have ever had in my life. They apparently sell them by the case, which was horribly tempting! Also, please notice my new Bowzer bracelet from Marrin Costello on my wrist. You will see him again.


It wouldn’t be ‘Five Things’ without one random addition. I found this questionable candy bar at Walgreen’s in the financial district. I couldn’t figure out as to whether or not it was cake covered in chocolate, or a candy bar meant to resemble cake. It was strange either way. My coworker encouraged me to squish it just to find out. I did, and it didn’t lead me to any strong conclusions.


Game Day

Hello everyone!

Ever have one of those days where all you’re capable of after work is laying in bed and drinking copious amounts of tea? That was my day a while back, and, aside from venturing out in the evening to procure some frozen yogurt in lieu of dinner, it was disappointingly uneventful. In other news, when it comes to self-serve yogurt, I’ve realized that my taste preferences leave me with something resembling a kindergartner’s dream breakfast: a soupy mess of fruity pebbles, strawberries, mangoes, and neon colored mochi.

Unlike some days, however, this last weekend was quite eventful! Yes, there was that giant earthquake that scared the living daylights out of me at 3am, but not so much that I didn’t have a problem rolling over and going right back to sleep. When I did finally choose to get out of bed, I had a little rooftop brunch with the significant other, which is a lot more glamorous than it might sound. Sure, we were sitting on crates on a tar roof, but sometimes you must trade comfort for a spectacular view of the Golden Gate.

What’s a Watch Me Juggle post without a little digression? So, with that long-winded introduction, I give you: Sunday night game day! I have a soft spot in my heart for my local Oakland A’s. The coliseum is a one-stop Bart ride away, tickets are reasonably priced and games are decidedly laid-back.


It isn’t quite a baseball game without an overlarge, overpriced beer.


The best bleacher view ever!


Apparently it was one of the first Sunday evening games in 10 years, and was entirely sold out! Unfortunately, the A’s lost this one, after a long winning streak.


Stadium garlic fries are the best. I kept thinking they were smiling at me. On a side not, the upper left sauce is not ketchup- it’s barbecue sauce. Perhaps not the best idea…


French fry close up. Look at all the garlic! I’m hoping in vain that I didn’t totally reek afterward.



It was a girls’ day out; two rows of very fun ladies.


A set of my some of my favorite sisters, in their natural environment.


Most everyone (aside from myself) got to the game hours in advance. Of course, the main motivation was this awesome unicorn backpack that they were giving away. Yes, it is in fact a backpack for adults. Plenty of grown men were sporting it all around the stadium with pride.

Have a great day everyone!


Five Things

Hi everyone!

I somehow went into complete zombie mode yesterday, and I ended up abandoning my blog-post-in-progress about halfway through, which is something I rarely do. It was there to greet me this morning, however, and instill the appropriate amount of shame in me to get me rolling. And, here I am! It’s this week’s Five Things- a little photo-collage glimpse into my life over the last week.


I tend not to wear any ostentatious or noticeable colors on my nails when my classes are in session. I like to look appropriate and well-groomed, and, let’s face it, bright blue nail polish somehow screams “I’m a teenager!” to parents of prospective students. Solution: I wear the heck out of them in summertime. Pictured above are two of my favorites from Essie: Bikini So Teeny and Mint Candy Apple, which I have on my nails now.


I finally jumped on the fashion-blogger bandwagon and bought myself some skater shoes. These were such a steal, and I’ve gotten so many compliments already. Bonus points for the leopard print, they make me feel instantly chic even when I’m wearing sneakers and cutoffs to go grocery shopping.


My mother gifted me a refill of one of  my favorite perfumes from Philosophy recently. I after finally cracking it open, I realized it was the exact same color as my bathroom walls. Coincidence? I think not.


I received a very cool, belated birthday card in the mail a while back from a good friend of mine. It took me about a week to finally realize  that it wasn’t just awkwardly thick, but was in fact designed so that I could mount it on a wall like a piece of artwork. A very clever idea!


Here’s a little sneak preview of tomorrow’s blog. I may not be the biggest fan of sports, but I do enjoy the atmosphere of live sporting events. Sure, I use the majority of my time there to eat all of the junk food available to me and to gossip with my girlfriends in between doing the wave/the Bernie lean, but isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? I’m well aware that I”m a living female stereotype.

Don’t judge me.


Things It Took Me 27 Years to Learn

Hello everyone!


My 25th birthday. Possibly the best birthday party ever. Almost all of my favorite people were there.


This was what 26 looked like. Swimming with sea turtles, hiking in a bikini, and a sand birthday cake.


Today I am officially 27.

While I’m not currently sunning myself in Hawaii or Las Vegas, I’m celebrating nonetheless. As I’ve previously shared with many of you, 27 is my “scary age.” Yes, I’m aware this is illogical and absurd. 27 is not 30, or 40, but for whatever reason, I’ve anticipated this year since I was young. While 26 was perhaps more of a milestone (Hello health insurance!), 27 always seems to mark the beginning of one’s late-twenties. To me, it’s always signified going to bed a responsible hour, investing in an IRA, and attending copious amounts of baby showers. You know, that time when the universe yells at you to wrap up all the fun you’ve been having. Silly, I know.

One of the many distinct memories I have of this day last year is that right when the clock struck midnight I was startled awake by Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” blasting through the speakers of my girlfriend’s iPhone. On a side-note, I had had the song stuck in my head since arriving in Hawaii, and kept singing “Let’s go to the beach beach…” over and over again. It seemed appropriate, and had soon turned into the theme song of our trip. So, in the dead of night and half asleep, I was asked to recall the the one thing that it had taken me 26 years of my life to learn. That year, I learned what it meant to truly go on vacation.

So, to continue with the ritual, today I will share with all of you some of the things it’s taken me 27 years to learn…

Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. Not everyone has to like you. All that matters is that you like the person looking back at you in the mirror.

 You can not jump into a swimming pool wearing fake eyelashes. It’s not a good look. Just don’t do it.

Thrift stores are amazing. Who doesn’t love paying $20 for $400 boots?

Going to the gym, yoga, dance class…whatever you enjoy doing, is an investment in your mental health as much as your physical health. 

You don’t need a bottle opener to open a bottle. Keys, the side of a barbecue, and the corner of a coffee table are just as effective, if not more labor intensive.

The $20 handshake is a real thing. Depending on the occasion, it works marvelously.

Your iPhone charges faster while in airplane mode. A tip I picked up from a handsome stranger while on a layover in the Honolulu airport.

Money is fluid. It will always come back to you. Maybe not right away, but it’s there.

On the same note, you will never regret money spent on travel. You’re literally buying yourself memories and life experience, not to mention stories to tell the grandkids.

I can drive on the other side of the road. It’s scary, but I can do it!

Spending the day at the pool is an acceptable way to spend the day. The same goes for spending the day snuggled in bed.


It’s most definitely better to have quality people in your life that you can depend on, whether it’s in times of emergency, or just on those days when you really need a hug. Quality trumps quantity, any day. 

Happy Birthday to me! Here’s to another good year.


Five Things

Happy Wednesday all!

We’re exactly halfway through the week, yet I remain convinced it’s Thursday. Don’t you hate those kinds of weeks? They just seem to drag on forever. Between all the work-related gigs, Taco Tuesdays, thrifting, and requisite summertime fun, I’ve been frantically searching for new content and topics to write about. Funnily enough, it’s always the minute I stop making a concerted effort that I have the most prolific ideas. Everyone has a different creative process, I guess. Enough chatter- on to the weekly Five Things!


If you happened to be anywhere near a beauty blog yesterday, you’ll have been made aware that it was #NationalLipstickDay. In a nod to many people’s (myself included) love of lipstick, I recommend that you check out a piece on the lovely Joanna’s blog, A Cup of Jo, where her new editorial assistant executed a “Lipstick Challenge.”  Digging in to the depths of her lipstick drawer, she wore a new shade every work day over several weeks. I might just be a huge beauty junkie, but I found this weirdly fascinating. And also now want to own blue lipstick. Yes, it sounds strange, but just check out her look on week two! So pretty.


Yes, here’s a gratuitous sunset shot for the week. We’ve been having the most spectacular sunsets in the Bay Area as of late, so I naturally have to document them as soon as I get a chance.


If you’ve ever been to Starbuck’s, you are totally familiar with the baristas propensities to utterly screw up the most basic names in existence. I get a lot of Ava and April, but never before have I seen a “Hayva.” Extra points for creativity to that one. For more funny misspells, check out Buzzfeed’s 27 Times Starbucks Failed So Hard It Almost Won.

early morning dance

Photo c/o Daybreak & The Bold Italic

Did everyone know that the early morning dance party is now a thing in San Francisco? I happened upon this latest trend while perusing the Bold Italic this morning. For those people who genuinely enjoy dancing, but don’t always have the energy to go out-and-about every Saturday night, you can attend this dance party on a random Tuesday, right before work. Lasting from 7:30-9:30am, next week’s fun offers atypical fare- no cocktails, but coffee, tea, and breakfast treats in abundance. This is way better than running on the elliptical at the gym for an hour. Just saying.

With the big birthday fast approaching, I’ve been frequenting Sosh, an app that I can best describe as a more personal Yelp that’s strictly for social events and activities. While only available for certain US cities at the moment, Sosh allows you to search by the activity you’re interested in- be it happy hours, fitness classes, concerts, or restaurants, within your neighborhood of choice. You can also write reviews and bookmark activities and events you hope to attend in the future. I have 33 events bookmarked currently,inlcuding Dim Sum at Yank Sing, cocktails at the “Vegas inspired” Drake lounge, and an outdoor movie screening in Washington Park. I’m looking forward to chipping away at them very soon!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Wednesday!



Hello all!

This last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a longtime friend’s country wedding. Devyn and I go way back, and meeting her is perhaps one of my favorite memories from my first year in college. My roommate and I were having a few people over in our dorm room when Devyn walked in with a mutual friend. I remember her friendly and likable demeanor, and how, as we decided to walk to Isla Vista to another friends house, I decided that I would befriend her. She just instantly seemed like the kind of person you wanted as your confidant, as your friend. Later that evening, we bonded over our unfamiliarity of gin and of how it smelled very reminiscent of Christmas trees. When I needed to find some roommates for the next year, my mind immediately went to Devyn, and my fate was sealed. Through her, I ended up meeting some of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life- I consider them family, more than anything. But, I digress. In short, Devyn’s wedding was perhaps one of the loveliest, least contrived weddings I’ve ever been to. I hope the bride and groom had as much fun as we did.


For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, you’ll recognize the vintage dress I snapped up at the White Elephant Sale a few months ago!


We figured we were her alternate set of bridesmaids, in blue lace.  My mother referred to us as the “Three Grace,” which I think is an appropriate comparison.



The ceremony space was just adjacent of the vineyards, and a beautiful vegetable garden.


There was delicious food, fantastic company, and even some break dancing on the poolside dancefloor. Of course, we were those people at the wedding-  the requisite table full of tipsy, happy single gals. Aside from a slight mishap that involved a tray of full champagne flutes being dumped on yours truly (I was reimbursed with more champagne, which I had no problem with), we had one heck of a time. It’s wonderful life events like these that make me wish our whole group of friends lived closer, or, at the very least, within the same state. Until next time, ladies.


Es un día trieste

Hello everyone.


photo c/o Kelsey Tinkham. The only recorded history of Freebird’s being closed.




I’m writing today with a heavy heart, but I hope that in doing so, I’m helping myself, and maybe some others heal even just the slightest bit. Yesterday, I attended one of many candlelight vigils held across the state in remembrance of the lives lost on Friday. Hundreds of people came to pay their respects- UCSB sweatshirts as far as the eye could see. Despite the number of people gathered, it was utterly silent. As beautiful as it was to see, I hate that we are all bonded by this atrocity now. As people stepped up to speak on the steps of Memorial Glade on the UC Berkeley campus, I was amazed by how many people knew the victims directly. They spoke of their kindness, their goofiness, their love of baking. I was brought to tears when so many people recalled their time at Santa Barbara as having experienced some of the hardest times of their lives, directly followed by some of the best. This mimicked my experience there. When I felt utterly alone and broken, the people I met there helped me through my struggles, most without even realizing it. The only solace we have is that we are never alone as we experience the loss and the emotions that come with it. Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor Claude M. Steele, in honor of those that passed all too soon, and in the great Maya Angelou’s words, said it best:

“And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.  Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be
better.  For they existed.”