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 ♥

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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♥

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♥

Gala Going

Hi all!

One of the perks of working in the arts (aside from the very obvious- working in an industry I’m passionate about), I do occasionally get to attend and/or help plan fabulously fancy events. While I’ll readily admit that I have absolutely zero frame of reference, I’ve heard that planning for an event as big as our ballet company’s gala on Sunday night is not unlike planning for a wedding. And while there are always countless things to juggle, last-minute changes, and unforeseen complications (Hi there, buckets of rain!), things always seem to come together to make something lovely and memorable.

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While I always seem to get disproportionately nervous before big events, things always work out wonderfully. I’ll still say that there are few things more nonsensically nerve-wracking than stabbing oneself in the eye with an eyeliner pen and having to start your makeup over with limited time to spare. I’m happy to say that things went more smoothly after that. This being my third Smuin Ballet gala, I think that this year went perhaps the most seamlessly- the cocktail hour, performance, dinner, and auction all made the event a success. More importantly, the official word is that we managed to raise over $380,000 in one evening! Not too shabby. Seeing so many people generously give (often unconditionally), makes me hope that one day I’ll be able to give back to the arts myself. For now, I’ll have to make do with working behind the scenes, and supporting in the capacity I can. Something tells me I’ll have plenty of fancy parties in my future.

EVA ♥

Provocative: At the Ballet…

Hello all!

I’ve learned something important about myself this year. It’s probably been apparent to some for quite a while now, but I think I’ve finally come to terms with it. I have a confession to make:

I like fancy parties.

really like fancy parties- even better if there’s a theme. I like planning for these events, debating on what I might wear, down to the lipstick I put in my purse, the strange romantic in me enjoys every last bit of it.  I sometimes find myself thinking that I would be content if my entire life were a fancy party, like some sort of weird, poetic limbo. I love the people watching, the mingling, the cocktails; it’s a total respite from my everyday routine. They’re the kinds of events I dreamed of as a kid, and they’re every bit as satisfying as I thought they would be now that I’m a guest. I attended San Francisco Ballet’s annual opening night gala last Thursday, as I have for the last few seasons (I blogged about it here and here). After the dreaded “holiday hangover,” it’s just the thing to get you excited about the year again! The performance is always a treat, featuring excerpts from the season ahead, as well as a few opening night exclusives. This year, there was a crowd-pleasing blend of classical and contemporary pieces, intended on showcasing a number of the company’s dancers (and San Francisco Ballet students) at their best. My very favorite had to be Jiří Bubeníček’s Gentle Memories, which initially premiered at the 2013 gala. I’m a sap, what can I say?

While I, understandably, don’t have too many snaps inside the opera house (*cue Chorus Line’s “At the Ballet”* I’m glad some places are still phone-free), I did get quite a few photos of the evening’s memorable after party.

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The blue dress was the winner!

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A newly discovered hidden talent of mine.

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I like prosecco. Can you tell I like prosecco? Because I do.

If you ask me, no opening night gala party is complete without a bar cart full of bottles of prosecco. I also found myself lingering around the over-the-top dessert table, with piles and piles of handmade truffles. Let’s not forget the oyster bar and the silent disco taking place on the second floor of our picturesque city hall. The theme of the evening was “Provocative,” which was only appropriate, since the entire evening was sponsored by La Perla. I was slightly disappointed there were no La Perla-themed gift bags, but considering I was able to get my hands on a tiny bottle of La Marca prosecco to-go, I was quite happy. I woke the next day with it still sitting in my purse, peeking like a little reminder of the evening before.

Can I go back now?

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello all!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Cheers!

EVA♥

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…

Hello all!

Happy holidays! As many of you who know me in “real life” have heard, I finally managed to get myself to a Christmas party this last week. It was no easy feat, and involved some rush shipping on a party dress, an interesting hair appointment, and a quick change backstage while working in the theater. But, I made it! A big special thanks to the ladies of Smuin Ballet who helped me get ready. Sometimes a lady needs a second (third, or fourth) opinion when picking accessories.

Unbeknownst to me, I was attending what is known around here as the “Marina Prom:” The Annual Guardsmen Tree Lot Party. Yes, it was a party on a Christmas tree lot, and no, it was thankfully not outside. It was, however, located in a very large warehouse that was spectacularly decorated for the evening with ice sculptures, snow, and, of course, lots of Christmas trees!

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The look of excitement the accompanies not only an open bar, but a fully-stocked snack table!

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Dress: ASOS Petite, Shoes: BCBG

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Not pictured above was: the electric violinist in a light-up suit accompanying the DJ, the Guardsmen bartenders serving drinks in their jumpsuits and bow-ties, men in snowflake pattern suits, and me walking off with a prop styrofoam present that was placed under one of the Christmas trees. Ridiculous things always seem like a good idea when you’re having a good time with friends.

The holidays tend to be a particular hectic time, and I try to schedule fun outings and meet-ups with friends, when I can. Walking down the red carpet and taking endless amounts of pictures was certainly worth the holiday kerfuffle. A lot of this takes a little extra effort, but is always worth it in the end. I’m hoping to make the Tree Lot Party an annual treat for my friends and I.

Cheers!

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♥

Five Things

Hello all!

I can’t believe it’s already December.

I’ve had a bit of an unfortunate start to the winter season; the cold has finally caught up with the Bay Area, just in time for my thermostat to stop working. Before you ask, yes, I hit my heater repeatedly in an attempt to fix it. No, it did not work. That being said, I’ve spent many of my evenings at home lately wrapped up in my favorite heated blanket, pinning things on Pinterest for a much longer time than is healthy. I’ll admit it, I’ve finally caught the Pinterest bug and an intervention might be necessary sometime soon (in the meantime, you can find my Pinterest page here). I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I’m just about ready to be done with this year. Hellooooo 2016! To start, I’ll just take a functioning heater.

And with that rambling introduction, I give you this week’s Five Things!

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Those of you who know me, know that I spend approximately 50% of my life in active wear or a leotard. Although quite pricey, some of the pieces I have from Lululemon are my tried and true favorites. I still frequently wear the very first jacket I ever purchased from them six years ago. This top, the Swiftly Tech Long-sleeve Crew, is my latest find. And I love the color- cant’ you tell? I somehow ended up in their dressing rooms wearing all violet/navy things without meaning to!

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The little island I live on might not have much in the way of nightlife, but we do have one of the very best tiki bars in the Bay Area. If you’re ever around, Forbidden Island is a must. From left to right, I give you the Monkeypod, the Boo-Loo, and the infamous and delicious Painkiller.

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Commuting can shave years off of your life, but being able to hop on a ferry and see this lovely view every week certainly makes up for it. Why spend time underground or stuck in traffic when you can bob along in the bay? They even have doughnuts. Ssh! It’s a secret.

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These drinks from San Pellegrino have become some of my favorites lately. Bonus: they come in many flavors, all tasty. It’s easy enough to find your standard lemon or orange flavors in the grocery store, but some of my favorites include clementine, grapefruit, blood orange, and this rare prickly pear flavor! This peach-colored can did wonders for perking up an otherwise dull work day.

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Oh, hello beautiful shoes. Unfortunately, these were no where near my size, so I had to settle for admiring them. At more than 50% off I started going through the list of friends I could potentially call who wore a size 6 1/2. What a steal! Also, in case you haven’t guessed it, I am most certainly the friend that enables extravagant purchases.

Life is short, buy the shoes.

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♥