Yes, the title is ironic.
No, I’m not a total grinch I swear, maybe just a little messed up, as he says. Hear me out, dear readers.
Yes, the title is ironic.
No, I’m not a total grinch I swear, maybe just a little messed up, as he says. Hear me out, dear readers.
She’s back, ladies and gentlemen! I’m sure you all can commiserate with how hectic the holidays can be sometimes. I’m sure you’ve all also had that feeling where things get so hectic, that, rather than doing anything productive, you end up sitting around your house doing absolutely nothing. This is the obvious solution, yes? I’ve certainly experienced this phenomenon to a degree lately, and find that sometimes the best way to cope with the “Holiday Hangover” is to give into the urge to do laze about and do nothing. When I wasn’t working, or at some sort of holiday party, I was napping. My coworkers once found me curled up in a ball, under a makeup table between shows, asleep. While this isn’t the most productive way to deal with stress, I found that all the extra sleep did prevent me from getting the plague, and also slowed me down enough that I wasn’t overbooking my schedule as I so often like to do.
The 2016 holiday season passed me by in a sort of blur. I did manage to get myself together enough to send out ridiculous Christmas cards (as is tradition), which spurred an impromptu photo shoot in the hallway of my building, complete with my Christmas tree and…(wait for it)…my new Louboutins! Sure, my house was a complete mess of discarded shoes, shopping bags, and half-drunk bottles of wine, but I’d like to think that I managed to adult my way through life just fine for the last few weeks.
Even though I’ve felt utterly unproductive these past few days, I’ve been unendingly grateful to the people who have stuck by me through a rather rough holiday season. Let’s face it, it’s not all it’s always cracked up to be, but it’s the people who support and encourage you in life that make it all worthwhile. Just a kind word or simple conversation can make all the difference in a person’s day. (It certainly has for me!) So happy (belated) holidays! I’m still not done being festive here in Watch Me Juggle-land, and yes, I do still have my Christmas tree up. Here’s to the next year! May there be many more adventures.
As many of you know (or might have guessed from my last post), I visited my family in Austria just a few weeks ago. My last trip was in spring of 2013, and was a bit of a whirlwind involving a van full of friends and a trek across the country. Comparatively, this most recent trip was quite a bit more laid-back, with the largest thing on the agenda being my grandmother’s 80th birthday at one of the many the local Buschenshanks, or wine taverns. The party lasted until 1am, complete with a ton of food, dancing, and live music courtesy of my great uncle Franz and his friend Rudy.
My family’s hometown is what one might refer to as rural. It’s not out of the ordinary for people to have livestock on their property, and unpaved roads are somewhat commonplace. Cellphone service can be quite spotty, as it’s so close to the Hungarian border that you could easily stumble across it without realizing. Güssing, a relatively small town of approximately 250 households, is honestly quite hard to find on a map. But, like most of Europe, it boasts a rich history, as is evident by the ruins of the 13th century castle that overlook the town. For me, it’s always been a place to unplug and indulge in some nostalgia. I ate my favorite foods and read half a dozen books in my grandmother’s kitchen. I know that change is guaranteed each visit, as my trips have gotten so few and far between as I’ve gotten older.
I try to appreciate Güssing for what it is. It’s especially quiet and charming during the winter months, when you can find Christmas markets in just about every town in the neighboring region. While we may have high-speed internet here in the Bay Area, they have warm mugs of Glühwein and roasted chestnuts on every corner, which is a fair trade-off, in my humble opinion. It’s very much a place to reset, indulge a bit, and contemplate life(or in my case, attempt to revive some very rusty German…more on this later). It may not be the most glamorous or exotic of vacations, but it’s special nonetheless.
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.
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.
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…?
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.
I can’t believe it’s already year two of Five Things. I have to thank one of my favorite blogs Cupcakes and Cashmere for inspiring me to post my five random photos of the week in the first place. I first discovered her blog during my breaks at my first ever office job, which, luckily, was one of the things that opened up the blogging world to me in the first place. Although, I used to get chastised for using up all the “bandwidth” in the office, it was obviously well worth it. I’m hoping this week’s Five Things provides equal entertainment for you during your monotonous work breaks!
Despite the figurative Christmas hangover, my good friend Rachel and I trekked over to The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus for our favorite afternoon tea. Sitting next to their impressive three-story Christmas tree, it finally started to feel like a bit of vacation.
A few years ago, on a road trip up to Portland, some friends introduced me to the wonder that is candied ginger infused vodka from one of their local distilleries in Bend, Oregon. I enjoy anything with a fresh ginger flavor, so needless to say I fell in love with this right away.
I discovered a magical restaurant and bar in San Francisco by the name of Teeth that serves totchos. They’re exactly what you think they are: tater tots topped with all the fixings of nachos. Perhaps a little indulgent, but they’re certainly wonderful treat after a long, rainy day.
What’s a visit to San Francisco’s Union Square without stopping by Tiffany and Co.? I very much enjoyed their Christmas decor this year- especially the beautiful tree covered in their signature little blue boxes.
I’ve picked up a bit of a Pinterest hobby in the last few weeks. The boss lady and I like to send one another things we think the other would like. This appeared in my inbox the other day, and it struck a chord with me. It’s a good reminder to be your own biggest fan.
It’s January and officially 2016, and I’ve decided I’m not yet done being festive. My tree is still up, and I’m still eating peppermint-flavored everything.
I’ve been rather quiet on the internet front, as I caught the awful plague that seems to be making the rounds. My holidays primarily consisted of sleeping and working, but I did my best to be in good spirits while trapped in the box office (or “The Box,” as I like to call it).
Let’s just say that I have many naughty and nice people to report for next year.
Despite being ridiculously busy, I managed to get it together enough to send out Christmas cards again this year.
I was feeling particularly inspired by this amazing Buzzfeed article on “lonely” Christmas cards, and decided to take a crack at making my own on Shutterfly. After browsing many design options, I couldn’t help but notice that many of them wanted to force me into a group, force me to sign “The (Insert Family Name Here).” Now, I am only one person. And signing a card like this seemed particularly absurd. Was I signing on behalf of myself and my Nespresso? Who are the other people in this equation that I don’t know about? And, finally, whose rule was it that custom Christmas cards had to be a group activity!? Nonsense. So, I decided to send out some rather festive cards this year: on behalf of myself and my shoes. Taking the photos was perhaps 90% of the fun; my amazing friend Rachel came over with her snazzy new camera to help. Also, who knew posing with a champagne bottle could be so potentially awkward?
Here’s a bit of a close-up, and the finished product below!
2015 was a roller coaster of sorts, and there were many lovely moments to be thankful for, but I’m ready for 2016. Let’s all say a big “Bye, Felicia!” to 2015 and keep moving forward. Let the games begin.
Happy New Year, everyone!
It’s time for Five Things, again! Is it just me,or does this feel like an entire week of never-ending Thursdays? Tomorrow marks the beginning of my holiday-craziness, as I like to call it with the opening night of Smuin Ballet’s Christmas Ballet. Yours truly will be all but living in the theater, for the next two weeks. On the bright side, I’ll be able to get a substantial amount of Christmas shopping done,as our theater is mere steps away from San Francisco’s downtown shopping hub. I’ll also most likely be able to write quite a bit “inside the box,” as I like to call it. So, stay tuned for some behind the scenes blogs on the ballet. In the meantime, here are this week’s Five Things!
I stumbled upon this intriguing piece of art at SFO the other day. I believe it had some sort of creative name like “Heels to Heaven.” They were giant high heels, so I naturally had to take a picture.
I’m a firm believer in treating yourself every-once-in-a-while. I snapped up these beautiful rose gold Kendra Scott earrings at a recent Nordstrom sale as an early Christmas present to myself. (In case your curious, on my nails is OPI’s “Taupeless beach” nailpolish)
I came across this perfectly preserved cocktail dress from the 1950’s at Desert Vintage in Tucson. The photo doesn’t do it nearly enough justice; it was beautifully tailored, with curved seams and a very full circle skirt. My favorite piece in the shop, however, had to be a 1920’s navy and lilac lace caftan-style dress that looked like it could have been made yesterday. If you’re ever in the market for unique pieces that are well taken care of, Desert Vintage is the place to look.
I was really pleased to hear that the iconic Bay Bridge light show was making a reappearance for the holidays. After a long day at work, they considerably brightened up my commute.
I recently held an impromptu holiday photoshoot in my apartment inspired by this creative woman’s Christmas cards. This year, I’ve resolved to make my very own, semi-inappropriate cards to send out to friends. This is the first year I’ve made custom cards using Shutterfly, and I’m looking forward to finally getting them in the mail very soon. Hint: these are not your grandmother’s Christmas cards.
Cheers, and happy holidays!
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.
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!
This past few weekends have been rather crazy, and I seem to have the bloggers dilemma of having plenty of adventures to go on, but never enough time alone with my laptop to document it all. For those writers who have the self-discipline to get up early everyday just to write, I applaud you. Let’s be honest, I can barely get up in time for work every morning. The struggle is real.
Any-who, this last weekend I spent some time in my old college town of Santa Barbara. I hadn’t been back since graduation, which was a total fallacy on my end. It was nice to explore the place I once called home through “real person” eyes. My friends and I kept laughing whenever I referred to us as “real people,” because, you know, college students don’t count. I’m not ashamed to say that I was afraid of things having changed so drastically that nothing was familiar, and that things might no longer feel like the place that I called home for years. Things had changed, but everything still, reassuringly, felt like the Santa Barbara I knew. It’s still one of the best places to be, in my humble opinion. Now, brace yourself, here come all the beach photos!
This little outcropping over the ocean was steps from my house, at one point.
High tide at the beach in Isla Vista.
East Beach in downtown Santa Barbara.
A view from Santa Barbara pier.
We also had some very patriotic fun over the weekend- fireworks, picnics on the beach, and red-white-and-blueberry jello shots.
I was amused by the presidential seal coincidentally stamped on my shot glass. You also can’t get more Santa Barbara than a sandy surfboard and a bike in the background.
and, of course, here’s the obligatory picture of fireworks! It wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without them.
The best way I can describe Santa Barbara is purely through photos and anecdotes (though the ridiculous anecdotes might be for another blog altogether). While it’s not a small town by any means, you can walk down the crowded streets and still see familiar faces. There’s something special in that. Plus, everyone is ridiculously tan. While I felt really pasty in comparison, thanks to the nonexistent San Francisco Sun, I remember those days when I had a permanent flip flop tan stamped on the tops of my feet. The vacation vibe you feel around town is what you get- even if you’ve lived there for years, you can still throw on a swimsuit, head down to the beach and feel like you have no worries. I’ve decided I certainly can’t let another six years pass by before my next visit.
Cheers! Until next time,
Hello all, and Happy Sunday!
I hope many of you out there are out and about, enjoying your long President’s Day weekend. Earlier I jokingly tweeted that “I think I’m going to have to re-name my blog to ‘Watch Me Watchtoomuchrealitytv, Drinktoomuchcoffee & Shop online.'” Which is pretty much all I’ve done with my day thus far. It’s quickly become my pattern on Sundays, I start out with ambitious plans, only to laze about at home for a good five hours sustained only by coffee. Seeing as my Saturdays tend to be the day I get everything done, whether it be socializing, cleaning, or running necessary errands, I’ve come to enjoy the low-key start to my week.
Seeing as this last Saturday was Valentine’s Day, however, I took full advantage of the holiday with a little Valentine’s-themed shopping and dining. What started out as running routine errands quickly turned into a chocolate and handbag buying adventure. Which, let’s face it, is an all too typical event in my life.
I fell in love with this “Ballet bag” from Sam & Libby. I’ve been looking for a great tote bag to give my Longchamps Le Pliage a break, and this one fit the bill. It even has a little zip compartment at the bottom specifically made for your flats. Brilliant! I also picked up Essie’s iconic nailpolish in Fiji, and a few truffles from See’s.
I got many a homemade Valentine from my students this week. So sweet- they were my favorite by far.
These lovely tulips were waiting for me at my doorstep in the evening. A nice surprise.
And, lastly, Valentine’s day wouldn’t be complete without an homage to my boyfriend: coffee. I finally managed to pick up one of these witty coffee mugs at Target. I had my morning coffee in it today, with my Royal Apothic Hot House Peonie candle making my house smell amazing. ‘Twas a good day. Especially when I decided to smile extra big at the scruffy bakery guy and he doubled my order. I’m a big believer in paying it forward. If someone brightens your day, take it upon yourself to brighten someone else’s. Make everyday a little bit special- like Valentine’s Day.