Why Saying ‘No’ Makes You A Better Person

Hello everyone!

I was stuck in the traffic that is my morning commute and found myself utterly bored. Because texting and driving is heavily frowned upon, I just let my mind wander. I’ve been thinking a lot of deep things about life lately:”What am I going to make for dinner?” “What if I could have gotten that cheaper on eBay?” You know, the usual. So, it surprised me that among the many deep things that I was pondering, I came across what feels like a gem. I like to joke about my lack of “adult” behavior here quite a bit, but I recently realized that there are some very adult things I do on a daily basis that I don’t give that much thought to anymore.  One thing I’ve noticeably become more confident doing over the last few years is simply saying ‘No.’ 

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Usually the word ‘no’ has some really strong connotations that come with it. If you say it too often you must be a negative, stubborn, selfish, uncaring, immature person, right?  The awful adjectives could go on and on. We assign it to toddlers, young people with zero-self awareness prone to pitching fits. But, it’s taken me a while to realize that it can be a positive thing too. ‘No’ is appropriate for many occasions, not all of them bad. When it comes to making friends and building relationships I’ve learned to be a little more discerning. Sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to do, but if you have people in your life that you’re incompatible with, or who don’t add much of anything positive, you can say no to them. Be honest, be kind, but still, say no. It’s a much more mature way of going about things than picking fights or leaving them hanging.

You work life might similarly benefit from your new word. Be realistic, if you find yourself running into problems or limitations, you can say no, and maybe spur some change.  It’s perhaps not the most optimistic way of thinking about things but, as someone who isn’t terribly opinionated or outspoken, saying no can empower you in certain situations. Of course, I’m not saying that simply saying no all the time is a realistic way of getting things done, or an effective way of getting out of doing things you don’t want to do. It is important, however, to use it as a tool when you feel yourself deviating from the path you want to go. I realize there’s quite a lot of irony to be found in my writing this, as I’m pretty sure I went on a tirade on Saying ‘Yes’ to things a mere few months ago. With gifs and all! They’re weirdly similar- just two sides of the same coin. The ultimate moral of the story is to take a stand for the things you can do, and want to do, and don’t be afraid! Saying no can be a means of sticking up for yourself, really. If you’re able to draw these lines for yourself, I suspect you might garner some respect from the people you would least expect it from. I hate to say it, but you might have a little more respect for yourself, too.

That’s all for now! I’ll be back soon with more incredibly deep things.

EVA ♥

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Five Things

Hello everyone,

It’s that time again! No, it’s not just any ordinary Wednesday, but it’s #NationalDogDay!

Is it just me, or is just about every-other-day some sort of hashtag something-or-other? #NationalDanceDay, #NationalDoughnutDay, #NationalWatermelonDay- exactly who is in charge of making up these supposed “national” holidays? Well-played Instagram, you’re giving us more and more excuses to post unnecessary photos of food on a daily basis. And who doesn’t love trending topics on social media? Don’t get me wrong, I plan to take full advantage of #NationalDogDay by kicking off this week’s Five Things with some pictures of adorable puppies, courtesy of Buzzfeed, of course!

Let’s begin with Looking at These Awesome Dogs, and go from there…

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This was captioned: “Look at this dog, who’s not quite sure how he got there or how to get down, but he damn sure doesn’t want to admit it.” His guilty face and slight confusion says it all. Now you can say you’ve gotten your oversize puppy fix for the week!
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Speaking of oversize puppies, I found this chubby cat looking rather regal enduring the hot weather we’ve been having lately. Or perhaps she was just staring at the birds outside? Either way, she’s quite the entertaining subject.

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I’ve been spending a bit of time wandering about airports lately, and these fabulous Essie vending machines seem to have become somewhat of a fixture. Sure, why not give yourself a fun mani while waiting for your delayed flight? It seems like a great way to pass the time!

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@Mallorylucille, designlovefest.com

My good friend Emily shared this beautiful design with me on my birthday. It’s from artist Mallory Lucille Rose, by way of DesignLoveFest. I think it would make a great wall print, don’t you?

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If you read my previous post, you’ll recall that I went on some Las Vegas adventures quite recently. The photo above is from my friends’ Bellagio suite overlooking The Strip.  Pictured is the “chandelier” that hung over their formal dining table. Not too shabby…

Until next time,

EVA♥

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Hello dear readers!

Longtime no…write? As usual, I’ve been off on adventures, this time to the single’s motherland: Las Vegas. Don’t worry, the “what happens in Vegas” rules don’t apply in this case- stay tuned for all the reasons I enjoy visiting Sin City so much. And, in case you were wondering, Yes, it was really hot out there.

Today, I was inspired to write for a number of different reasons. When I get back from vacation, regardless of where I’m going, I tend to get a bit introspective about life, in general. Relaxing and thinking about the day’s interactions also helps pass up the otherwise tedious commute hours. But, what primarily got the wheels turning was a conversation I had with one of my girlfriends today. Now, I can only speak from experience, but there seems to be an epidemic of bright, talented young women out there who are self-deprecating to a fault. Disparaging might be a better word for it. I consider myself very lucky to have such wonderful friends, they’re all ladies that I admire, and they have qualities that I aspire to embody. It completely baffles me when they turn around and fixate on the few things they dislike about themselves, or compare themselves to other people. Of course, being on the outside, it’s easy for me to tell them that they’re absolutely crazy, that they have so much to be proud of and that the people in their lives think so highly of them. It’s interesting that our friends almost always, in so many words, think we’re selling ourselves short.

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I’m going to go ahead and throw this piece of advice out there:

Don’t sell yourself short. Period.

Surprise, surprise, like most pieces of “helpful” advice, this is easier said than done. Sometimes, you even need to stand up for yourself a little bit, like Karen Walker over here:

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I had a little bump in the road a while back, and no one was more surprised than me when I, quite literally stood up for myself and announced: “Um, wait. I’m amazing!” As women, we’re told not to brag, not to tell people what to do, or how it is, but when did this manifest into sabotaging our own self-confidence? Just because a relationship or job isn’t the best for us, doesn’t mean that there’s something fundamentally wrong with us. It takes quite a bit of self-assessment to figure this out, and that certainly isn’t easy. It’s possible, though. Like I’ve said before, there will always be things in our lives that we will want to “upgrade,” or paths we occasionally wish we had taken. But, sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves, because no one else can really do it for us.

EVA♥

Almost 30.

Hello everyone!

Yesterday, I turned 28.

Yep, no denial here. 28. As many times as I joke that I’m 21 or 22 (people believe me, which is slightly awkward…), I’m really almost 30. I had a full day of completely indulgent things that made me happy- I got my hair blown out, went to tea at Neiman Marcus, had a glass of champagne with my mother, and a big family dinner. I’ve been told before that no “adult” takes their birthday off, so I ran the risk of feeling like a kid, and took the day off anyway. No adult thinks that their birthday is something to celebrate, apparently.

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You see, I’m almost 30. I have friends who are married, friends who have children, friends who want to buy houses. Every year, my friend Rachel asks me what she calls the “‘Birthday Question:’ What has it taken you __ years to learn?” This year, I shared something that I know to be true, yet I still think I’m learning it, if that makes sense. It’s a bit like that saying “comparison is the thief of joy.”

Many of us start our adult lives the same way- high school then college, graduation then a job. What people don’t tell you is that everyone’s lives tend to go on their own course from there. Some of your friends will leave the country, some of your friends will have babies, some might join the army. There’s no right or wrong way to go about things. Comparing your lives at this point, is pretty much an exercise in futility.  Other people might try, even if you don’t. They’ll compare your life to how their’s was or is. So, that’s what I learned this year. Or what I’m trying to learn.

Sometimes I think about what my life would look like if it had gone differently, or gone the way I thought it might when I was a teenager. And it makes me sad to think about- I certainly wouldn’t be the same person I am today. It still seems funny to say that I’m proud of the things that I’ve done- I work in a field I love, I have a place I can call my own, I own some beautiful shoes, and, as of yesterday, a brand-new Nespresso machine (Yay! Fancy!). This month, I have plans to go to Vegas and Washington D.C. Just for fun, and to see new things. I’m like a real adult. Who knew?

I’m almost 30, and I think it’s hard to be grateful sometimes, but I try everyday. I think it’s human nature to fixate on the one thing that we don’t yet have, or the things we think we’re missing. I’m almost 30, and I’m trying to make myself into the person that I really want to be. No one’ going to do it for me. At my birthday dinner yesterday, I had ten people there to celebrate, many of whom have known me since before I can remember. We had some really good food, told stories, and I laughed so hard, I thought I might wet my pants. People from all over wished me a happy birthday. It made me feel special, but not in that little-kid way. I have a fridge full of mini cupcakes, but also a really nice bottle of brut rose.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

EVA♥

The One Where I Went to Many Weddings

Hello all!

The Watch Me Juggle Wedding Edition is here!

I recently went to two weddings in one day. (Pause for reaction) It’s been quite the conversation starter. Some people think I’m a little crazy, some people have asked me if I think I’m in 27 Dresses,”you name it. The first wedding I attended was just slightly north of Santa Cruz, in the woods, for my friend Jessie and Andrew. The second was an evening wedding back in my lovely hometown for my friends and Smuin dancers, Erin and Jonathan. The initial plan was to arrive early for the first, jet after the ceremony, and catch the second right at the start. Luckily the traffic gods were on my side, and I made it to each venue right on time.

I’m going to be entirely honest and say that I had a major blogger’s conflict here. Both weddings I attended were intimate, and every time I pulled out my phone to take a photo, I felt like I might as well have stuck it directly in the couples’ faces. I much preferred the good, low-tech method of being an active participant and taking everything in. I was able to snap a few photos before the proceedings, but after that it was all a happy blur. Note: I am most definitely the weeper at weddings. I try to keep it as collected as possible, with the subtle eye dab,  but make no mistake, I am Kim Kardashian-style crying on the inside.

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Wedding hint: you’ll need at least one crochet hook to do up all those pretty little buttons. Good luck getting out of that dress after it’s on!

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Photo c/o Jessie Fritzen

The lovely Mr. & Mrs. Fritzen.

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Photo c/o Erin Yarbrough Powell

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Photo c/o Erin Yarbrough Powell

Mr. & Mrs. Powell! Or, as Jonathan said in passing “Imarriedyourfriendisthatok?!” They look pretty happy, so it’s wonderful in my humble opinion.

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Photo c/o Jonathan Powell

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Photo c/o Michaela Lynch

We had some beautiful familiar faces crash our Dance Arts Project wedding! Our recent graduates sauntered on in at the best time, and got put right to work, serving wedding cake with smiling faces. It was truly a family affair.

So, now that I’m a self-proclaimed wedding expert Here are all the things you need to know about being a wedding guest! 

  • The bride & groom have probably been planning their wedding for ages. It’s a wonderful, exciting occasion, but it’s more than likely things will deviate from the plan. The best thing you can all do is sit back and enjoy!
  • Be open-minded. Not everyone’s wedding is going to be your ideal. It’s a representation of them, and you’ve been invited to take part in it.
  • Help where you can. Is grandma struggling to find her seat? Flower girl need assistance? Get in there.
  • Bring extras of things: safety pins, bobby pins, mints, tissues. If you don’t end up using them, someone else gratefully will.
  • Be yourself (‘duh), be personable, make some new friends. If you’re a dancer, get up and get the party started on the dancefloor (at an appropriate time, of course)! A good time is contagious, you know.
  • Ladies, wear shoes appropriate to your venue. This means no stilettos outdoors, no casual flats at the formal event, etc. When in doubt, and if space allows, bring an emergency change of shoes!
  • On a similar note, ladies, don’t ever trust your date if he relays the dress code verbally. Ask for specific examples. Formal gown, cocktail dress- they don’t know the difference. You don’t want to be the only boob at the “formal” wedding wearing a gown.
  • Make sure you get a little quality time with the bride & groom, and document it! Even if it’s just a selfie. Remember: they’re in high demand, so let them be generous with their time. They want to see all their people!
  • Oh yeah…enjoy! Eat cake, catch a bouquet, collect stories to tell for years to come.

That’s all for now! Until the next wedding…?

EVA♥

Taking Stock 3.0

Hello all!

It’s been quite a while since my last “Taking Stock” post. It’s been an eventful week in the Bay Area, which means many exciting posts to come. In a nutshell, I spent this last weekend at numerous parties, a concert, and even found myself at a comedy club at one point. Don’t worry, I was not the one onstage. (Insert rimshot here.) So I decided to bring it back-to-basics this Monday with a little list.

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San Francisco: a city that’s beautiful at all angles. If I didn’t like her so much, I would probably hate her. So darn photogenic. This was taken at the top of Lafayette Park.

Making : weird faces. At myself. For absolutely no reason. You can tell exactly what I’m thinking based on my facial expressions. I am not a natural at poker, that’s for sure.
Cooking : bread pudding. I always seem to have leftover/stale bread lying around, and it seems like such a waste to throw it out. Bring on the kitchen experiments!
Drinking : La Croix. Sure, it’s just water in a can. But it’s also fancy, apricot-flavored, sparkling water! I can get behind that.
Reading The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan and Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories.
Wanting : a pair of overalls. I’m basically an adult woman that likes to pretend she’s still a kid.
Wishing : I could shake my sometimes constant nostalgia. As they say, “Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.”
Enjoying : leftover tres leches cake from my friend Jessie’s bridal shower. De-licious!
Listening : The Pandora Jim Gaffigan station. It helps get me through my workday, especially when I need a little chuckle.
Waiting : for the Fourth of July weekend to come!
Liking : making small talk with strangers. It’s always nice to get to know the people around you a little better. Need some inspiration? Check out this guide to starting a conversation in 60 seconds.
Loving : Louboutin shopping. I’ve vowed to buy myself a pair before 28. Happy birthday to me!
Bookmarking: place’s to visit in Napa on an upcoming weekend getaway.
Watching : This amazing music video featuring dancers. I must say, I’m loving this trend.
Needing : an organizational system for my clothes that does not involve piling things on a chair.
Smelling : my Capri Blue Volcano candle. I burn it constantly when I’m at home.
Wearing : my DV by Dolce Vita blue suede sandals. They were a steal at $5.
Thinking : about my latest to-do list.
Marveling : at all the exciting goings-on over the weekend. #LoveWins
Feeling : the anticipation. I somehow have plans for every weekend until August. Road trips and vacation, here I come!

Today’s blog was inspired by Pip whose blog, Meet Me at Mike’s,  I stumbled upon while browsing around A Pretty Penny. Go check them out! Great little corners of the internet. 

EVA♥

Next!

Hello all!

 Yours truly has had a new catchphrase lately, and, although those of you who know me in real life might have an inkling, I bet you can’t guess what it is.

“Next!”

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Aka: Thumbs down. Do not pass ‘Go.’ Do not collect $200. 

I find myself saying this both in my head and out loud to other people more often than not. The great thing is, people of any age, race, or socioeconomic background can use “Next.” Unfortunately, there are plenty of moments when this phrase is more than appropriate. For example:

That guy you’ve been seeing can’t seem to pick up the phone to call you back? Unless both his arms are broken: NEXT. 

(The same goes for those men who can’t be bothered to open a door when you’re struggling with bags, whose eyes glaze over when you’re speaking, or those who tell you to make them a sandwich. NEXT. There are 3.4 billion of them out there, ladies.)

Those “friends” you have at school that can’t find one positive thing to say about you, but continue to grace you with their presence? It’s time for you to say: NEXT. 

Your boss pass over you for that well deserved promotion again, even though all the men in your company seem to be conveniently climbing the ranks?  NEXT. 

Everyone has that crazy/bigoted/drunk relative that seems to have all the opinions, none of them good. Tired of hearing their offensive ranting? NEXT.

That person in your life who insists that whatever you’re saying or doing is wrong, and can’t seem to listen to reason? Unfortunately, we’ve all been there at some point or another. Hold your head up high, keep calm and NEXT.

That stylist that gave you the horrible haircut? NEXT. The doctor that seemed a little too high-and-mighty? NEXT. It even works with that annoying voice in your head that tells you you’re not pretty/smart/successful enough.  Say NEXT. 

Once you start applying “Next” to your life, you’ll be amazed at how much easier the little things are to let go. You see, there’s no reason in the world why you need to voluntarily subject yourself to negative people or things. Of course, some situations are unavoidable, but now you’ll have a convenient escape plan should you find yourself in them more than once. As cliché as it is, life is much too short to spend time dwelling on the things that make you unhappy. More often than not, these are also the things that you can’t control. In this respect, there’s something wonderfully proactive about “Next;” you get to take charge, you make all the decisions. It’s really that simple (and also that complicated). So, take the time and flex your muscles at the situations that bother you. Give ’em a big thumbs down, tell them to take a hike, because you have much, much better things to do.

EVA♥

Five Things

Hi everyone!

Five Things has quickly become the milepost of my week, that and Jenna Marbles’ videos, the joys of  Wednesday!  This week has been an interesting one, punctuated with sighs from yours truly. It’s a funny thing that I’ve noticed about myself lately. Whenever I find I have a lot on my mind, or if I’m feeling down-in-the-dumps, I’ll let out a big sigh. I didn’t notice it until recently, when the woman sitting next to me on my day-to-day commute started looking at me oddly. I get so preoccupied sometimes I think I forget to take deep breaths. Does this happen to any of you, dear readers? Like many things, I guess it could be worse.

I digress, as always, but Five Things means that there are pictures of puppies and/or cocktails that have come to save the day! Let’s get to it…

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I’ve been mildly fascinated with the Parisian-style macaroons at Chantal Guillon in San Francisco, as of late. I really enjoy all the creative flavors, and will one day need to find an excuse to buy a whole box full. They sure are pretty to look at.

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Photo c/o PopSugar

I’ve been fascinated with these trendy Flash tattoos as of late. I’m just dying to get my hands on pack and go completely overboard. It’s like semi-permanent jewelry! I can just imagine myself teaching ballet class in a leotard and entirely gold arms. As if my students don’t think I’m quirky enough already…

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Adventures of Maddie the Dog return. In this episode, Maddie enjoys being tucked in while simultaneously taking up the whole couch. Bless her, she’s a funny one.

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My girlfriends and I discovered another quintessentially hipster bar in downtown Oakland over the weekend. We had a hard time finding the Double Standard, but enjoyed it once we got past the rather foreboding, graffiti covered entrance.

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Meanwhile, I introduced the boss lady to some of the finer points of Pinterest, and her pinning enthusiasm has worn off on me. You can find my Pinterest boards here. hey’re a work in progress, and I sense quite a bit more to come! My personal favorite has to be my “Notable Quotes. Quotable Notes” board- it’s where I keep the simple quote above.  It’s a beautiful reminder that everyone needs now and again.

Until next time,

EVA♥

Five Things

Hey all!

Remember last week when I said that my Five Things was the place where all the random things of my life go to live on the internet? Well, while I was getting this week’s post together, I realized a pattern I seemed to have. Just take a fancy looking cocktail, something cute (preferably a puppy), and something I bought this week, and voilà! You have Watch Me Juggle. I might be horribly predictable, but I’d like to think I’m fun nonetheless.

I tried to mix it up a bit this week…see, no cocktail picture! But I did run around San Francisco and go shopping- gradual change is good.

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I’ve been keeping an eye out for everything mermaid-related lately, seeing as we’re performing our own rendition of The Little Mermaid for this year’s “Big Show.” This shirt from H&M made me laugh.

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So, my singular Alex & Ani bangle was looking awfully lonely. My latest edition is the “Love” bangle. Pretty self explanatory- I love jewelry with a little message.

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I spend an awful lot of time attending ballets at the SF Opera House, and, hence, I spend an awful lot of time looking at the City Hall building. It’s quite beautiful, though. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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I was recently at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts for work and had to take a photo (albeit a blurry one…can’t wait for a new camera!) of this statue in the lobby. It’s beautiful, and always catches my eye.

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I’ve been really loving I Am Her Tribe on Instagram as of late. I find their posts inspiring, and not overly schmaltz-y. They’re a great combination of both the serious and the light-hearted. Go check them out!

 EVA♥

Things to Do When You’re Bored

Hello everyone!

 

 

I was recently inspired by Youtube gal Nikki Phillippi for this next post. It’s rare that I find myself bored lately, yet, when it does happen, I’m always surprised that I have zero idea what to do with myself. When all your errands are done, and all your social obligations long over, I never know what I can do that’s both productive and…well…relaxing at the same time So, here are a few things that I like to do when I’m feeling a bit restless, or need a little pick-me-up.

…Bake. That’s right. Just bake whatever you feel like. Cookies, bread, cakes, that weirdly complicated shortbread recipe, just go for it. You’ll feel accomplished, your house will smell amazing, and you’ll have something delicious to eat…

…If you’re terribly girly, like me, give yourself an at-home manicure. Similarly, if you’re particularly coordinated, try doing a little nail art! You can find hundreds of simple tutorials online. If you’re not a DIY kinda gal, just go get them done.You deserve it…

…While I love reading, I sometimes find it hard to focus when I’m bored or feeling restless. Listening to audiobooks is a great alternative for those days where you just want to lay in bed and do nothing…

…Go thrifting! I’m very much guilty of doing this. If you’re not one for wandering about aimlessly while shopping, set your mind to something that you really need- anything from coffee mugs to a trench coat. It’s like a treasure hunt!….

…Go on a drive! I’m totally guilty of arbitrarily wanting to go visit an obscure coffee shop or restaurant, and making an entire trip out of it. Sometimes I’ll drive up to the North Bay just for a particular sandwich or into San Francisco for a doughnut. I enjoy getting to my destination as much as being there…

…Nest or rearrange furniture. There’s no better feeling than making progress on your space. I don’t really enjoy the process of cleaning up, but I do so love the end result…

…Call old friends to catch up! This is especially nice if you find yourself having a quite day, and in need of some good company…

The list goes on and on! What do you like to do in those moments of boredom?

EVA♥