Placerville: 6 Dogs, 2 Facemasks, Countless Mimosas

Hello all!

Sometimes you need to get out of dodge. Or, rather, get out of your dodge and into someone else’s. I recently spent the weekend in Placerville, Ca with my lovely friend Devyn, and while it’s not your typical destination town, I enjoyed the quiet woodsiness of the place.

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Welcome to Hangtown, aka. Downtown Placerville.

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(I’ll admit that sometimes I’m a horrible photographer. I left my finger in the shot for authenticity’s sake.)

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Meet Millie and Oscar

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Buddy the Great Dane

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My puppy twin: Ava

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With life feeling more chaotic than normal lately, it was really nice to drive a few hours away from the Bay Area and spend the weekend with Devyn and her family in their very spacious log cabin. For those of you that have been following Watch Me Juggle for a while now, this was the very same site where Devyn and her husband Casey were married a few years ago (I, of course, blogged about it here). We spent Saturday evening eating some delicious barbecue and wandering around the house in face masks Devyn had acquired from her recent travels in South Korea. I would like to think that the rice mask I wore did indeed give my skin a little extra glow! Not laughing while the masks were on, however, proved to be a lot harder than we thought- especially with the addition of after dinner cocktails. The six family dogs also made for some wonderful evening entertainment, and I spent perhaps too much time playing with my puppy counterpart, Ava, before bed.

We started our Sunday with a lovely brunch, complete with waffles and mimosas, and later made our way to downtown Placerville for a little sight-seeing. The neighboring area of Apple Hill has a number of wonderful wineries and the local Jack Russell brewery. Devyn and I split a beer tasting on the patio; I highly recommend their vanilla stout. It’s like dessert in beer form! It was such a nice getaway from city life, the weekend didn’t feel nearly long enough. Luckily, it’s all only a drive away! I have a feeling I’ll be back.

EVA♥

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Five Things

Hello all,

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!

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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♥

300 Reasons Why Vegas is The Best

Hello all!

Here’s my promised, requisite post all about Las Vegas!

I am still alive, and yes, the 300 reasons title is total click-bait. It’s more like seven reasons, to be more realistic. Don’t doubt that I couldn’t give you a really long list of reasons why I love Vegas, but I have a feeling on one would want to read through that! As I’ve said before, the “what happens in Vegas” rules do not apply to me, as I obviously can’t stop talking my friends’ ears off about the many adventures I’ve had there. Quite honestly, I can’t say enough good things about Vegas. Sure, it’s gone down in the history books as “Sin City,” which makes it sound like absolutely no good can come of time spent there. But that’s where popular belief is wrong. Today, I wanted to sit down and share with you some of the reasons why I love Las Vegas so much. It really is the adult Disneyland.

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1. You can Choose Your Own Adventure

To give the above photo a little context, my friend Kelsey and her girlfriends ended up getting upgraded to the most beautiful suite I’ve ever seen at the Bellagio. That’s the beauty of Vegas: it’s an adventure. If you feel like staying in a seedy hotel and play poker with a yard size margarita strapped to your neck, you certainly can. Or you can turn your whole life into a party- Vegas is home of the exclusive dayclub/nightclub extravaganza. You can jump up and down while famous djs spin and get showered in champagne/confetti until you’re blue in the face. Not into the nightlife? You can have a ridiculously elegant meal at a Michelin-rated restaurant and shop at the finest stores. Have kids? Believe it or not, all those Vegas lights and water slides can be awfully fun for the kiddos. I speak from experience!

2. Little to no room for judgement

Hey, if anyone in Vegas decides to give you stink-eye (Yes, grandma, over there. I know you think my skirt is too short), just remind them, and maybe yourself, that you are in fact in Las Vegas. Most likely you’re in a casino. They can get off of their high horse and come join the rest of the people gathered around the same craps table they are.

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Oh hey! It’s Afrojack everybody!

3. “Because we can!”

This is, in my humble opinion, the Vegas slogan. It’s the only way one could justify the recreation of the canals in Venice, a functioning volcano, dancing waters, and an indoor, life-size waterfall. Who thought this was a good or even remotely rational idea?! You know what else Vegas has, just because it can? Parades. Order a bottle at a 500% markup? You get a whole drum-line coming to your table to deliver it! Alternately, it might be a group of girls in grass skirts, on the shoulders of bouncers, blowing-whistles. Why? Because we can. It completely defies all logic. Oh, look! Money is literally raining from the ceiling! You can’t make this stuff up.

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4. All the freebies

Vegas is the one place where women can take advantage of the system. Sure, we may still make 75 cents to an hour for the exact same job as a man, but we can go anywhere and just about do anything for zero dollars and zero cents in Vegas. And we can get there faster. I’m very much a feminist, but I also have no qualms about taking advantage in Vegas. Which brings me to my next point…

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5. Vegas can make you feel fabulous

I made myself at home with my $14 cocktail inside of a human-size chandelier/bar. In Vegas, you can get dressed up, skip the lines, be served frozen grapes poolside, and have your picture taken. Be sure to wear your boldest/sparkliest attire.

6. Nothing is too absurd

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Oh look! Somehow there are 15 Australians in our hotel suite! 

This very much falls under the “Because we can!” reasoning. You can do just about anything you feel like in Vegas! Feel like sleeping all day, staying up all night? Okay! Feel like holing up in your hotel room and ordering room service? Why not? Want to spend your paycheck on ridiculous things, like a daybed at a pool party…uh, okay! Of course, I’m not saying that all of these things are necessarily a good idea, but you have your regular life to make mature choices. Heck, make up an alias for yourself, if you want! My friend Courtney spent her time in Vegas as Morgan. Whatever floats your boat! Have fun.

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7. Singles, singles, and more singles

Single? Never fear, Vegas is the one place in life where you win! Sure, you might not get that nifty tax break, but going bananas in Vegas is one of the top perks of being unattached, in my humble opinion. You’ll still get accosted by your great aunt repeatedly asking why you’re all alone at your cousin’s wedding, but you just had a freaking amazing vacation. 

EVA ♥

Five Things

Hey all!

Welcome to Five Things, the vacation version! Even though it’s been a while since I’ve gone on a legitimate vacation outside of California, but my pictures lately certainly make me feel like I’ve gone on my share of adventures lately. You could also think of this week’s Five Things as a visual vacation- I like to think of chocolates,wine, and the beach when I need a zen moment.

Commence relaxation in 3, 2, 1…

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I can’t get over the color of the water by Santa Barbara’s East Beach. It was also so clear, you could see the kelp forests coming up through the water.

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I visited Mumm Napa for the first time recently. It’s set up just like a restaurant, with groups of tables and assigned servers, except the only thing on the menu is sparkling wine. So, it’s pretty much my favorite new place. I’m contemplating being a real adult and joining their wine club.

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Photo c/o instagram.com/zoella

I’m excited to give my hair a much-needed cut, and a little extra blonde to get me through the summer. Adorable Brit blogger, Zoella, has been my go-to for ombré hair inspiration.

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This beautiful piece of art hangs in the entryway of Hall winery, and is made entirely of vintage beaded costumes and sweaters. It’s quite large (floor to ceiling) and stunning in person.

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I fell in love with the chocolate case at Dean and Deluca this last weekend. While I have no problem eating entire boxes of chocolates in one sitting, I couldn’t imagine eating one of these beautifully detailed little marzipan animals!

Happy almost-Thursday!

EVA♥

Weekend Adventures: Santa Barbara Edition

Hello all!

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!

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This little outcropping over the ocean was steps from my house, at one point.

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High tide at the beach in Isla Vista.

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East Beach in downtown Santa Barbara.

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A view from Santa Barbara pier.

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We also had some very patriotic fun over the weekend- fireworks, picnics on the beach, and red-white-and-blueberry jello shots.

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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.

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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,

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello all!

It’s Wednesday! (Hooray…?) This halfway point in the week tends to bring out a little crazy in the best of us. To reference that infamous Geico commercial: it’s Hump Day! One thing I do look forward at this point in the week is being able to put all the little things that I collect on my phone in one place. I enjoy that my Five Things doesn’t have to be thematic, or even make much sense. They’re here just for the heck of it, sort of like an inspiration board, or, for those of you social media fanatics, a vastly simplified version of Pinterest.

We’ll start at Thing #1, and go from there!

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I had the most wonderful latte pick-me-up this afternoon at 20th Century Cafe in San Francisco. This European-style cafe is only a few blocks from my office, and couldn’t be more charming.

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After a particularly long few weeks at the office, my kind coworkers surprised me with this card and some flowers. I love that we’re an office of many talents; my coworker Ruth does the most amazing pet portraits, and, knowing about my mild obsession with French Bulldogs, created this original ink sketch for me! This sleeping puppy lives at my desk and makes me happy.

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On my latest trip to St. Helena, I visited the tasting room at Merryvale Vineyards. Aside from their very likable staff and lovely wines, they had some very interesting literature on display. Yes, there’s an entire book dedicated to the cats that prowl around the local vineyards. There’s also a Wine Dogs, just in case you were wondering.

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My friends and I recently had a blast-from-the-past with dinner at Woodstock’s Pizza, one of the popular college haunts in Santa Barbara. What I love the best is their Cinnabread. I would always order way too much and eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day. I have no regrets.

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While I’m lamenting the lack of sun here in the Bay Area, I can still reminisce about my recent beach vacation. Did you know that the beaches in Capitola (pictured above) have been a tourist destination since the early 1900s? Not much has changed, really. It’s still such a beautiful place.

Here’s to another week well done!

(Almost!)

EVA♥

Baking Fails & Just an Average Sunday

Hello all!

I’ll admit that I was overly ambitious when I woke up this morning.

I was also craving some sort of baked good. Like most Sundays, I try to cram as many activities as possible into one day, so after fueling myself with coffee, I hoped on the trusty Google and began a search for a “lazy biscuit” recipe. Lazy was probably an understatement, because, at this point I didn’t even have enough motivation to reach for the recipe book on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinets. Lucky for me, I stumbled upon Bran Appetit’s “Lazy Biscuits for Two.” It was perfect! The recipe was straightforward, and with a little finagling, I even whipped together a substitute for buttermilk with some regular milk and a little lemon juice. I mean, aside from the fact that I was just one person making a “for two” recipe, I was feeling pretty confident. Anyway, who could resist the possibility of having something like this for breakfast:

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Photo c/o Bran Appetit

Looks delicious right?

Well, being fairly competent in the kitchen, I quickly realized something was horribly wrong with my version of these biscuits.

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I give you, pancake-cookie-biscuits with an aluminum foil crust!

Mmmm, so delicious!!

 I lamented these resulting “biscuits” so much, I even pulled out a spatula and tried to pry them off the foil in an attempt to eat whatever I could. After the 20 minutes I spent gently cutting the butter into flour to make these dough blobs, they would have been actually edible had I bothered to fully read the directions. I’ve honestly never had a baking endeavor go so wrong so quickly. Unfortunately, I know some of you can relate to my kitchen disaster- sometimes the things that come out of your oven are just destined to be a hot mess, both literally and figuratively. So, I did what any normal 20-something would do: I salvaged my day with an impromptu road trip to Napa for a glass of wine and some amazing food.

(Not made by me, obviously. I learned my lesson.)

IMG_3683  May your week ahead  be a lot prettier than today’s breakfast.

EVA♥