Five Things

Hello all!

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

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Photo: Mary Lee Shalvoy

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

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

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

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

Happy Wednesday!

EVA ♥

Swan Floaties & Superglue

Hello everyone!

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

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So festive!

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

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

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

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

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

EVA♥

Five Things

Hi all!

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo c/o S-curve Apparel

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

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

Banana!!

EVA♥

Urban Night Market

Hello all!

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

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It’s Rock Wall Wine Company!

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Rocking my favorite new signature Alameda hat from Honour brand.

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

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Image c/o Butlikemaybe

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

Happy Wednesday!

EVA ♥

Flatlining

Hello all!

Occasionally, I do this thing I like to call “flatlining.” When you think about the origins of this term, it can be rather morbid, but it’s something I like to use flippantly. Most of the time, I flatline when I’m feeling under-stimulated, or underwhelmed. This kind of flatline usually takes place in front of some sort of screen…where I can feel my brain cells slowly disintegrating. You know that feeling…either too many hours spent in front of the tv, your work computer, or on your phone.

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Exhibit A: The flatline

 As someone who likes to continuously stay busy, I tend to have this exact reaction once my life slows down a bit. Everything comes to a complete stop. It might be worrisome behavior, but, at best, I’m sure it’s entertaining to observe. Add the fact that I live alone on top of this, and all my speaking abilities go out the window. Try not to ask me any questions (especially before coffee!), unless you need a ridiculous response that takes 10 minutes to formulate.

“Flatlining” isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, I schedule this kind of downtime for myself. If you move your incoherent self to a beach or poolside, suddenly it’s called a vacation. Add an omelette and a mimosa on a Sunday and you suddenly have brunch! You can go for a hike, or go shopping while flatlining too.  There are endless possibilities, but they’re all intended to give you a break.

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Nothing says “Please flatline here!” quite like an empty pool on a Sunday morning.

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This past week, I spent several mornings just laying by the pool. There, I quite literally do nothing aside from apply sunscreen, lay down, and chat with the boss lady. (Sunscreen is key here, everyone! I learned this the hard way. At one point, when I pulled my sunglasses down the bridge of my nose, I was left with a red racing stripe. Reapply!)Earlier last week, I spent some time in the salon where I also zoned out to the point where I almost fell asleep. Luckily my hairstylist likes to make me work for my hair, there’s enough standing up and sitting down to keep me occupied for a few hours. While it might seem rather boring for some people, it’s times like these that somehow make me feel more refreshed and ready for the week ahead. Seeing as I have a less than typical schedule nine months out of the year, my summer schedule tends to be the reverse of what is true for most people. I head into a standard 9-to-5 day in the office, while most people plan vacations and take some time off. While having a fluctuating schedule can be really refreshing, I sometimes tend to get too wrapped up in going about a standard routine and completely forget to make time for things that are intellectually and physically stimulating, or just plain old fun. Lately, I’ve turned into the person who comes home, has dinner, and unintentionally falls asleep sitting up at 9pm while watching the latest reality tv drivel. I like to say that the first step in changing a situation is simply acknowledging whatever it is that needs changing. Well, it’s almost halfway through the summer and I haven’t nearly started doing all the things I’ve wanted to do. Join a gym, go to a ballgame, try a new workout class, take more dance classes…the list goes on. None of these things are particularly daunting, but it certainly involves a little bit of initiative, and a whole lot less flatlining.

Baby steps!

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello everyone!

Brace yourselves, there are some strange things coming at you on this week’s Five Things. Initially, I wanted to make this a Neverland-themed post, but I couldn’t help but deviate a bit. (Hint: this involves pictures of food. Who here is surprised?)

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I’ll admit that I haven’t eaten too many lobster rolls in my lifetime, but this one from Scolaris at the Point is possibly the best thing I’ve eaten in a long while. I could almost capture how delicious it was in this picture. Almost.

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No, it’s not one of those seeing-eye posters from the 90s. This, ladies and gentleman, is a shot from the inside of my car in the car wash. I can’t be alone when I say I find them fun and oddly soothing. Especially when the foam turns pretty colors.

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Working with children, you occasionally see some very creative hairstyles. Sometimes they like to cut their own hair, or wear all of their hair accessories on their heads all at once. But this…pigtail extravaganza has to be my favorite. This is possibly my favorite statement hairstyle yet.

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To make a long story short, yes, I am wearing a children’s size crocodile hat from our afternoon performance of Neverland. Not only did I take a selfie, but I proceeded to dance around like a t-rex for my own amusement. This hat ended up on one of our five-year-old boys, who couldn’t stop giggling about it onstage. It’s the little things.

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On a positive note, for those of you who are occasional basket-cases like yours truly, above is a very helpful gif I recently discovered. It’s oddly soothing, and very self-explanatory: breathe in, breathe out.

Problem solved!

EVA♥

Neverland

Hello all!

It’s no secret that a huge part of my love for performing arts revolves around,well…performing. My school doesn’t have too many performances yearly, just one day’s worth, to be exact, so this one day a year tends to be extra special. This year, we presented Neverland, an original continuation of  J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

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With my 4 year-old class: the pixie dust faeries.

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When I wasn’t doing someone’s hair, pinning crowns on dancers’ heads, or helping with a quick change in the wings, I managed to snap a few shots backstage. It’s the culmination of almost a year’s worth of steady work; this year, I was able to test out my story-telling abilities a bit more, which turned out to be quite fun! When it comes to creating, I’ve discovered that the music and the dancers can make or break the whole process. Things that seemed initially daunting tended to fall into place with these two well-matched ingredients. We also often say that the process of producing a show is quite a bit like a train, consistently gathering momentum. At a certain point, there’s not much you can do aside from stepping back to admire the end result. Sure, there are always things I wish I could tweak and adjust, but it’s strangely refreshing to be able to let things be once we get into the theater. After all, if someone isn’t pointing their feet/looking up/straightening their knees by now, chances are that stopping a dress rehearsal to discuss minutiae isn’t going to help.

Despite being incredibly proud and relieved after a successful show, I tend to experience a huge let down afterwards. Going from daily rehearsals and being constantly occupied with the details of a show to…nothing, can be challenging. Part of the beauty of dance is that it’s entirely ephemeral- each performance, each moment in rehearsal is unique and can’t quite ever be recaptured. This being said, I’m sure you can see why the end of a performance could bring a bit of melancholy along with it. Luckily, it doesn’t tend to last long.

Next year will mark my studio’s 25th anniversary, and I’m certain we’ll have something extra special planned. I’m not quite sure what that will be yet, but I think it’s important to have a new project, a new adventure to look forward to! It certainly helps take some of those post-show blues away. I’m so proud of my students, and know the next year holds something exciting.

As for now… I’m going to the beach!

EVA♥

How to Stay Sane and Other Things…

Hello all!

I do believe this week is the craziest I’ve had yet. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the craziness is quite exciting. It’s our “big show” week at the studio, which means a week full of extra rehearsals on top of all the plans that I’m trying to cram in.

So, I’m going to do what all the other proper adults do: explain my thoughts using Jenna Marbles gifs. You’re welcome. Here are a few of my own tips and tricks that I use to keep myself sane during those less than relaxing times in life.

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Don’t over-caffeinate

I learned this one myself the hard way. Coffee is always a treat for me, and holding a warm cup in your hands during your commute or at the office can be comforting. Over do it, and not only will you still have a high stress level, but now you’ll also be unable to blink. The same goes for your favorite adult beverage. Alcohol is a depressant, so no matter how nice that extra cocktail might feel now, wearing sunglasses at your desk is never a good look. Remember: moderation!

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 Breathe

This is a tip straight from my mother. As frustrating as it is, sometimes this is all you can do. As a technique to stave off all the anxiety/impending doom/existential dread, I like to count my breaths. Count to seven when you breathe in, ten when you breath out. Just make sure the exhale is longer than your inhale, as this sends good, calming signals to your brain.

Take care of yourself! 

When stressed, everyone has the tendency to neglect themselves. Skipping meals, not sleeping enough, and over-booking your schedule only make things worse. Make sure all of your basic needs get met, at the very least.

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And, on this note…

Say “No”

Remember your cousin’s neighbor’s friend’s birthday party that you said you would go to a month ago when you didn’t have all this crap to do? During times like this, it’s ok to prioritize your own needs. Let yourself say ‘no.’ If you, like me, feel terribly guilty or suffer from the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out), make a compromise.

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Surround yourself with the White Light

Sometimes, being an adult means doing things you would really rather not do. Which is ok. Sometimes things like this are unavoidable (the DMV, the dentist, that 3 hour work meeting) and you just need to put on your big girl pants and do them. If you anticipate things going badly, or being excessively stressful, do what I do: surround yourself with the “white light.” I like to think that I’m made of Teflon, and I can let all the negative things slide right off of me.

Do the things! 

Do the things that make you happy! Make your passions a priority. Or maybe your life needs a few re-runs, ice cream, and some quiet time at home. Do whatever you like to do to make yourself feel better and don’t apologize.

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One thing at a time…

When things get overwhelming it’s often because we’re looking at the big picture. The big picture can be scary, don’t look there. Tackle one task at a time, and soon you’ll feel back in control.

Fake it ’til you make it

You can’t have all your ducks in a row all the time- it’s just not possible. Cut yourself some slack and focus on the things that you are doing well. You got out of bed today! That credit card bill, you paid it!  Go you! That’s more than many people can do, so pat yourself on the back and be grateful. You might not always feel like it, but you’re doing just fine.

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EVA  ♥

Are Bloggers Narcissistic?

Hey all!

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Today, I wanted to write a little something about my thoughts on a topic obviously near and dear to my heart. The online blog world is something that I’ve been fascinated with for a good long while now- I started my blog after following countless others, immersing myself in the carefully curated world each portrayed. While I loved reading exceptionally professional blogs, it was the world of the “20-something” blogger that fascinated me the most. These were, understandably, the most relatable. I commiserated with their stories of dating disasters, nightlife adventures (or lack thereof), and the latest in style and beauty. With all these candid glimpses into other people’s lives saturating the internet, you sometimes wonder what the motivation behind it all is. Is it really about the writing and sharing life experiences, or are bloggers just narcissistic?

Sure, everything is always “I, I, I, Me, Me, I think, I did, I wore…” What else would one expect when reading something that’s purposely centered around another person’s life? A lot of people credit this phenomenon to the Millennial generation, because all of us are apparently hell-bent on oversharing our lives on some sort of social media. I’ve heard people joke that if you didn’t share about it on Facebook/Snapchat/Twitter/Instagram did it ever really happen? But, does everyone need to know about your new haircut? Where you went this weekend? What you think about that tube of lipstick? I wonder if any bloggers out there feel as if their readers are waiting with bated breath for them to post their latest goings-on, all while waiting for some sort of validation so they can continue doing what they’re doing. I would like to think that many, like me, wonder if anyone out there is even reading their little corner of the internet, and why? While I was thinking about these things earlier, I came across this article on Culture Witness. Writer Lea Singh suggests that, to avoid falling into that dreaded narcissistic headspace, bloggers should “approach writing posts like writing magazine articles or newspaper columns, because a blog is a self-published periodical, not a private space, and it should not be kept in the belief that is a mere record for ourselves or our friends and families.”

If this is the case, perhaps I’ve failed miserably here; I enjoy posting about my mundane life events and sharing my most random thoughts. But, like what drew me to blogs initially, it helps to connect, to know that you’re not entirely alone in your experiences. I admittedly try not to overshare, and spend quite a bit of time thinking about (overthinking?) what I write- there are plenty of things in my life that I don’t plan on posting all over the internet anytime soon. There certainly might be more than a fair share of bloggers that can be categorized as self-obsessed, but I also believe there are those who display integrity and share their personal experiences without pretense. I hope to categorize myself with the latter, despite the occasional selfie post.

Until next time!

EVA♥