Cookie…Beer?

Hey all!

On a dark and stormy night not too long ago, I made my way to Woods Beer Co. in downtown Oakland to partake in some cookie beer. You heard me right…Cookie. Beer. It’s as fun as it sounds.

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This year marked the second annual release of Woods’ limited edition Girl-Scout-cookie-inspired line of beers. There was a little something for everyone: two ales, a dubbel, a stout, and a porter. As usual, I couldn’t decide and immediately settled on trying all of them in one fell swoop. In the spirit of Girl Scout themed things, along with my beer flight, I was surprised with my very own Bay Area merit badge for hill parking. As I was never part of a troupe when I was younger, this made me inordinately happy. There were also badges for water conservation, bearing the words “Let it Mellow,” and something that had to do with excellence in saving seats at the bar. Driving around San Francisco as much as I do, my prowess definitely lies in hill parking.

The beer itself was delicious, of course. I was surprised that I enjoyed the golden shortbread ale and the peanut butter cream ale the most. I usually tend to gravitate towards darker beers (namely porters and stouts). I was also very intrigued by the beer version of a thin mint: the chocolate peppermint porter. The first few sips reminded me quite a bit of peppermint tea. Woods also gets major points in my book for pairing each beer alongside each cookie that inspired it. I enjoyed taking sips of my beer interspersed with bites of cookie. It was the perfect activity for a rainy Saturday night in, although I would highly recommend it any day of the week. I’m hoping to visit the brewery again soon to grab a big glass of shortbread-flavored ale and collect another merit badge or two. Apparently, you can have your cake (cookie?) and drink it too!

EVA♥

Girls’ Weekend

Hi all!

My friend Emily made a quick jaunt from her home in AZ to the Bay Area for work a while back, and I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with her. I wish I could say that the weather here behaved for my desert-dwelling friend but alas, that is not at all the case. However, I can’t remember the last weekend I did so many fun things! We certainly made the most of it.

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I tried…okay. My giant hand is in the shot, and such is life. What matters is that we’re ecstatic about our coffee. Also, can we also take a minute and gawk at Emily’s vintage earrings. So sparkly!

Meanwhile, outside….it consistently looked like this:

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Windy, dreary, cold buckets o’rain. But, that didn’t stop us from having a good time!

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Friday’s itinerary involved delicious sushi and drinks at Prizefighter in Emeryville, where the rain let up enough for us to enjoy the patio and meet countless dogs. Saturday involved a pit stop at Trouble Coffee before popping on the freeway and heading to my favorite places in wine country. I finally got to sink my teeth into the ahi burger at Gott’s, albeit hiding from the rain with dozens of other people outside. We followed lunch up with some wine tasting at one of my new favorites in Yountville: Jessup cellars. We almost walked away with a totally indulgent bottle of port- amazing when paired with disks of dark chocolate. I highly recommend checking them out, if you’re ever in the area!

We ended the evening with drinks and dancing at Blondie’s in San Francisco’s Mission district, followed up by late-night tacos at Pancho Villa. Emily was a good sport when I dragged her out of bed early the next morning to grab dim sum at a local spot. I would like to think that her first dim sum experience was worth the early morning. Look at that expression! That’s how I feel when I get up and get to eat egg custard buns too. After eating, we zipped across town and got our nails done to start the next week off right.

EVA ♥

Five Things

Hello everyone!

Five Things is back! I’ve missed sharing my day-to-day snaps of random things that pique my interest. Photography is not at all my strong suit, but I’m aiming to get better at it. Thank goodness for the nice cameras on the iPhone 6! Without further ado, here are the latest “things”:

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I couldn’t help but take a photo of this beautiful display of flowers in a home decor store in downtown St. Helena. Real or fake? I leave it up to you.

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I recently got a chance to catch up with some old co-workers of mine on the back patio of one of my favorite spots in Hayes Valley. We each ended up ordering a different color of wine. If you guessed that the Sauvignon blanc belonged to me, you are correct!

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My world-traveling friend Rachel brought this little treat for me back from her recent jaunt to Argentina and Antarctica. While we knew it was a cookie, we had no idea what flavor. Apparently Tita is an Argentinian chocolate-covered, lemon cookie sandwich. You learn something new everyday.

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My friend Emily was in town recently, and I dragged her all over the entire Bay Area in search of impressive food and drinks. We actually ended up making two stops at Trouble Coffee in West Oakland, if for the toast alone. Pictured above is their peanut butter and honey variety, but my favorite is easily the cinnamon toast. Nom.

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Image c/o Pinterest

The boss lady and I have been pinning our hearts out on Pinterest lately, and enjoy sending each other things. The above image ended up in my messages one morning with the caption “For my traveler.”

Until next time!

EVA♥

Foodie

Hello all!

The best things in life are free! Well…sort of. I have, for a long time now, praised the little things in life. And while some of my favorite things are relatively simple, (bubble baths, exploring new neighborhoods, fresh tubes of lipstick) some could considered a bit more extravagant.  I’m a total foodie- from foreign street food to fancy ice creams to local diners, I will eat and enjoy it all.

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Wine, cheeseburgers, and a beautiful view at Rock Wall Winery.

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The amazing pizza specials at Scolaris on the Alameda Point!

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Sunday desserts at Craftsman and Wolves.

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Kougin amann filled with Valrhona chocolate.

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While I seriously enjoy eating out, I do try to make a point of having relatively conservative meals during the week, so I can strategically indulge on the weekends. There is a massive soft spot in my heart for cheeseburgers, so my first stop this last weekend was at Scolaris out on Alameda Point. This, of course, was accompanied with tall glasses of neighboring Rock Wall Winery’s sparkling rose and amazing views of the San Francisco skyline. On Sunday, I finally made it to what felt like the most hip bakery ever: Craftsman and Wolves. They’re known for their innovative pastries like The Rebel Within, a savory muffin with a soft-boiled egg baked right in the center. I had an incredibly hard time choosing among all the artfully displayed pastries, but finally settled on a chocolate-filled kougin amann.(Hint: if you’re anything like me and constantly wonder how to pronounce this treat it’s pronounced: pronounced QUEEN-ah-mahn.) For me, the fun of new, delicious foods comes from the experience as a whole. Sure, I could easily visit a local Alameda bakery and have a pastry at home, but then I would miss all the people watching in Dolores Park and the walks around San Francisco’s Mission district. It might sound silly, but I could easily plan a weekend around wonderful things to eat and sights to see. I would like to think that being a “foodie” is about so much more than the food!

Until next time!

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello everybody!

Is it almost February, already?! I’m sure I would almost completely forget if it wasn’t for the fact that a literal “Super Bowl City” is being built right in the middle of my SF commute. It’s quite a sight, but I don’t anticipate ever seeing it in its entirety. As much as I love my city, I’m not one to brave massive, crazed crowds during the weekend just so I can see Chris Issak or Alicia Keys from 2 miles away. Now, if they were performing a club in Las Vegas, that might be a different story…

Luckily, in anticipation of being somewhat housebound these next two weekends, I’ve been doing a bit of extra exploring lately. This week’s Five Things is just a little glimpse at what I’ve been up to…

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There’s a Whole Foods up the road from my office that I like to frequent. I can’t help but peruse all the pretty cakes in the pastry cases whenever I’m there. On my last visit I found this little “Fancy Cupcake” guy. He’s almost too cute to eat!

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I was doing a bit of shopping in the East Bay over the weekend, and I was gifted these lovely flowers from Tumbleweed Floral Truck. They certainly helped perk up my house during these last few rainy days.

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I have an incredible soft spot for Lush, and had to stop in to pick up some of their latest limited edition Valentine’s Day products. The boss lady and I used to joke that Lush should construct its own break-up worthy line of products, perfect for perking up your friends when they experience a bit of heartbreak. So, I was so excited to see a new Wash That Man Right Out of my Hair shower gel. Bye, Felipe!

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I finally managed to treat myself to a long-anticipated manicure the other day. While I initially was hoping for something like this, I ended up with a neutral, sparkly ombre nail instead. I’ve really been enjoying them lately.

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Photo c/o FashionUnited

I have a new shopping obsession: Kit and Ace. Founded by family members of the founder of Lululemon, Kit and Ace boats beautifully constructed, well…what I like to call “grown-up clothes.” Everything they offer is quite simple, with touches of rose gold detailing here and there. I very much want to get my hands on some of their super-soft technical cashmere tops and dresses.

Until next time!

EVA♥

I Wore Shorts in December

Hello all!

In order to combat all the upcoming holiday craziness, I recently decided to get away for a mini-vacation. I took a long weekend, and paid my good friends Emily and Tucker a visit in Tempe. As I type this, it’s about 45 degrees in the Bay Area, and the newscast playing in the background is warning us of an impending storm. To say I miss the warmth and the sunshine is an understatement.

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I was tempted to title this post “Oops, I’m in Arizona,” but I may or may not have already written that one. (Upon further investigation, I give you Oops I’m in Arizona, documenting last year’s travels. Am full of predictable nonsense, what can I say?)

I showed a friend of mine the above picture, and she said it seemed like I was really in my element, enjoying the sunshine. Having grown up in the Bay Area, I’m no stranger to cold and damp winters, but, if given a choice, I would certainly opt for summer all year round. So, when I found myself in warmer weather, I did what any normal person would do and refused to put pants on for the entire weekend. I also immediately regretted the amount of black, leather, and flannel clothing I had packed. There’s nothing quite like traveling to make you reassess your style choices.

Don’t get me wrong, my travels weren’t all about finding nicer weather. There was, of course, plenty of good food and drinks to go around as well. Should you find yourself in Scottsdale on a Friday or Saturday night, I highly recommend Counter Intuitive. Apparently the theme of the bar changes every few months or so, but we happened to catch it during an Asian-fusion period. Here, you’ll find everything from a tropical boba cocktail, to the “Six Demon Bag” drink, that contains “fire, and all that kind of thing.” This was my favorite, although I was sad to find out “fire and all that kind of thing” was not an actual liqueur, but a Kung fu movie reference. Aside from the fantastic food and drinks, we ventured out to explore nearby Tucson, which I would astutely describe as a sort of hipster, desert-cowboy-land. My favorite, and most random adventure however, happened to be our stopover at an ostrich farm just next to the I-10, on our way to Tucson. Yes…there were ostriches, but there was so much more! Donkeys, and goats, and lorikeets, oh my!

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This is my friend Emily’s excited face.

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Excited face #2

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When I ran out of nectar…a bird decided to perch on my head. Perhaps birds are next year’s new fashion accessory?

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Please note the sign. Apparently, I still thought it was a good idea to feed them directly from my hand. Fun fact: an ostrich’s eyes are larger than their brain. I couldn’t help but think they were eerily reptilian- like standing next to a dinosaur, really.

We topped off the day with giant, fluorescent margaritas at Guadalajara‘s in Tucson, where they make their salsa tableside, just as you like it! If you’re ever in the area, this is a must-see, either before or after wandering through the vintage shops lining 4th street.

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 I’m very much looking forward to the next time I find myself packing a bag and leaving some of my worries behind, if only for a brief moment in time. There’s something about a plane ride that can feel like a reset; it’s perhaps not the most “magical” experience in and of itself, but the destination is always worth it. I have to admit, I’m very much looking forward to my next trip. I don’t go on adventures nearly enough! 
Until next time,

EVA♥

Friendsgiving!

Hello all!

Happy Thanksgiving-Eve!

We’ve finally made it to the Holidays! I know some of you eager beavers already have your Christmas trees up (to each his own), but I couldn’t be more surprised that it’s already that time of year again. The cold has finally hit California, and I’m currently writing to you wearing a down vest while wrapped in a heated blanket, so it certainly is starting to feel like that time of year. 

Holidays are unique in the way that they’re marked by tradition. Everyone expects their family to gather around the dining room table covered in perfectly prepared food like some sort of Norman Rockwell painting. With the holidays becoming increasingly commercialized, the concept of family is pushed in everyone’s face so constantly it sometimes feels exhausting. Somewhere along the line, someone decided that it was tradition to spend this time of the year with family. But, what if your family doesn’t look like everyone else’s? What if your family is an ocean away? You might even have the kind of family that could care less about Thanksgiving. What if it’s just you? It’s all too common to feel a bit down about this, but if no one else has told you, that’s entirely ok. I like to think that this time can be wonderful for making new traditions.

Like “Friendsgiving”!

I had the pleasure of attending the first of many Friendsgivings this past Saturday. 
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Photo c/o Erin Moss. “It’s awful, man…these girls keep making me take pictures of them!”

In my humble opinion, the idea of Friendsgiving is pure genius! Everyone brings their favorite dish, potluck-style and presto! You have an amazing Thanksgiving dinner. On Saturday we had roasted turkey, crock pot mac n’ cheese, brussels sprout gratin, and much more. One guest brought homemade bread and a chocolate-pecan-bourbon pie.  Amazing! I ate so much I instantly regretted the jeans I had decided to wear that evening. Alternatively, at a Friendsgiving I celebrated with the boss lady and my longtime friend Sarah just yesterday, we simply hit the hot bar at Whole Foods for all of our Thanksgiving meal goodies. We topped this off with pumpkin whoopie pies, apple cider mimosas, and had a party! I realize that this is a lot of Thanksgiving-style food to consume in advance of Thanksgiving proper, but hey! No one would argue with me when I say it’s pretty darn delicious. I’m heading down the coast first thing tomorrow to officially celebrate Thanksgiving with my dear friends in San Luis Obispo. It’s a little less than “traditional,” but it’s become our tradition over the years. Sometimes new traditions can be the best of all!

Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello all!

Five Things is b-a-c-k, back!

I’ve been accumulating pictures left and right, and yet life seems to get in the way, as it so conveniently does. I’ve been missing sharing the random round-up of photos from my life, and am looking forward to getting the backlog of blogs out of my brain and onto the interwebs. Of course, what would Watch Me Juggle be without a little spontaneity/chaos? On that note, here are this week’s Five Things:

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I had my first pint of porter at Faction Brewing recently. Perched on the edge of the old navy base, Faction a local Alameda brewery with an amazing view of the San Francisco skyline. It’s very much no-frills- a trip to the ladies room requires crossing the brewery’s entire warehouse, but that’s very much part of its charm. I’ve also never had a milk stout quite like theirs before! I highly recommend.

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I’ve been exploring San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood quite a bit lately, and have been enjoying it. You’ll find many interesting characters, restaurants, and bars there, as well as the occasional piece of “burner” artwork. Here’s If you take a peek past this artfully carved gazebo, you’ll be able to see another one of one of this week’s things…

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I’m very much in love with Smitten Ice Cream, located just down the street from my office. It’s made-to-order ice cream is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. Pictured is one of their season flavors: sweet white corn and fresh berries. Delicious!

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It’s no secret that I do enjoy perusing antique and thrift stores from time to time. I found this funny little collection of “mustache” cups recently. Perfect at keeping tea out of even the most dapper gentleman’s mustache!

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Some friends and I had the chance to visit the famed Wilson and Wilson bar in San Francisco not too long ago. A secret bar within a bar, Wilson and Wilson boasts an impressive cocktail menu, handed to you in the form of a case file. It’s detective agency-themed decor reminded me of something you might see in The Maltese Falcon and their in-house infused liquors are really unique.

Cheers!

EVA♥

Washington D.C. Adventures!

Hello dear readers!

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted on Watch Me Juggle. I’ve missed it altogether too much.

Having been out and about quite a bit lately, you would think I would always be itching to post about my latest adventures. But, in a strange way, once I’ve forced everyone to look at all of my vacation photos, then it feels truly over. Then again, the only thing that remedies that is going on more adventures, right?

Despite being the consummate California girl, I’ve always wanted to explore more of the U.S. I’ve recently noticed that I pretty much wander off of the West Coast only to leave the states completely, and that had to change sooner or later. So, when the opportunity presented itself to visit a good friend Devyn in Maryland, I had to go. We only had a few days, but we managed to hit two states, three major cities, and walked and shopped over 12 miles, taking breaks for cocktails and ogling at monuments. We saw and did all the things, as I like to say!

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We started off the trip with homemade ebelskivers, and a brunch cocktail made with local donut peach cider, spiced rum, and sparkling water (which was obviously delicious). Since getting out of the army, my friend has become quite the “domestic manager,” as she likes to say. After eating our fill, we headed to Arlington National Cemetery. Although this spot was not initially on my extensive to-do list, I’m so glad I went. It’s beautiful and filled with history.

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We of course visited as many monuments as we could during our Washington D.C outings; the Washington, Lincoln, and Vietnam memorials were spectacular. Of course, I had to be a tourist and pretend to hold things up in photos.

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I also took the obligatory picture outside of this clearly unimpressive place.

We also tooled around Georgetown a bit, which I did enjoy- it’s a lovely part of town. We even managed to pop in to Georgetown Cupcake (there was no line!) for a quick cupcake before

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As Devyn clearly predicted, perhaps one of my most favorite places had to be Annapolis. I decided to shed my usual black/grey uniform and blend in with the locals in my Lilly Pulitzer. There’s nothing like dressing up in your friends colorful closet to make you feel like you’re really on vacation. I felt very festive.

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The evening wouldn’t have been complete without dockside drinks at Pusser’s. Despite living walking distance from a bar that serves the original Painkiller cocktail, I decided to cross the country just to have another one. You know, for the sake of quality control.

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Yes, they did taste the same on the east coast, although the view might have been slightly better.

Some people compare falling in love to that feeling of coming home after a long vacation. I hope this saying doesn’t ring true for everyone, because I’m almost always a little bit sad. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little apartment and its purple bathroom, but I almost always feel a little deflated when a fantastic vacation comes to an end. There’s a unique feel to the East Coast that we don’t have here in California. Everything here is quite shiny and new (and as of lately, very brown), where there’s a little bit of history around every corner in Washington. It was quite fun to be on a vacation where I learned so much. Devyn would frequently point out the many plaques on the side of the road that marked a historic something-or-other. There was even one outside of a sushi restaurant-apparently where John Wilkes Booth hid from authorities after assassinating Lincoln. Who knew? Above all, I came away with the strangely encouraging fact that there is still so much left to see.

EVA♥

National Junk Food Day

Hey everybody!

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for, right! It’s #NationalJunkFoodDay!

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You know I put that spoon down just to snap this photo. I’m not ashamed.

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Despite the fact that I feel like this “holiday” was made up entirely for its hashtag-ability, I started thinking about it a little more this evening. These last few days have been completely nuts, for lack of a better expression. You’ll hear more about it very soon. It started with a five hour hair appointment, a 2 hour trip to Santa Cruz, three friends staying in my studio apartment…and, oh yeah, two weddings on Saturday. There were a few things in between that general mess, but that’s really the gist of it. After all the chaos, I desperately needed some quiet, me-time. Things started out pretty well yesterday, I made it to the office in one piece, squeezed in some grocery shopping, and even made a delicious dinner. Then I settled in for what turned out to be an ice cream-fueled Bachelorette marathon. (Sorry not sorry.)

One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, has pretty much made a living our of making cracks about food. He’s hit on all the popular junk foods, most notably: Hot Pockets, Ben & Jerry’s, and McDonald’s. (Seriously, click that McDonald’s link, he’s pretty funny.)Most of his stand-up is light-hearted and easy to relate to- the desire for unending fries, the societal shame we tend to feel after indulging. Gaffigan brings up a really interesting point, though. We all have our own “McDonald’s”- those junky things in our lives that don’t really do us any good.  Be it reality tv shows, cheap clothing, or trashy magazines, they’re all junk food, really. I’ll be the first one to say that there’s a time and a place to partake, and only in moderation. Sometimes you just need to do a few things for yourself; I like the occasional cheeseburger and cringe-worthy tv. It’s like hitting the reset button on life every now and then. When you’ve reached your fill, you can snap back to living your normal, non-junky life. And while you won’t find me in line at McDonald’s anytime soon, in reality, I’m probably just sitting at home with a face mask on, drinking beer, eating pretzels, and not caring about what anyone thinks. Happy National Junk Food Day.

Cheers,

EVA♥