Holiday Roundup

Hello everyone!

She’s back, ladies and gentlemen! I’m sure you all can commiserate with how hectic the holidays can be sometimes. I’m sure you’ve all also had that feeling where things get so hectic, that, rather than doing anything productive, you end up sitting around your house doing absolutely nothing. This is the obvious solution, yes? I’ve certainly experienced this phenomenon to a degree lately, and find that sometimes the best way to cope with the “Holiday Hangover” is to give into the urge to do laze about and do nothing. When I wasn’t working, or at some sort of holiday party, I was napping. My coworkers once found me curled up in a ball, under a makeup table between shows, asleep. While this isn’t the most productive way to deal with stress, I found that all the extra sleep did prevent me from getting the plague, and also slowed me down enough that I wasn’t overbooking my schedule as I so often like to do.

The 2016 holiday season passed me by in a sort of blur. I did manage to get myself together enough to send out ridiculous Christmas cards (as is tradition), which spurred an impromptu photo shoot in the hallway of my building, complete with my Christmas tree and…(wait for it)…my new Louboutins! Sure, my house was a complete mess of discarded shoes, shopping bags, and half-drunk bottles of wine, but I’d like to think that I managed to adult my way through life just fine for the last few weeks.

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Some step-and-repeat action at the annual Tree Lot Party.

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All of my people in one place at Smuin’s “Christmas Ballet.”

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Santa brought me a Christmas Eve sweetheart!

Even though I’ve felt utterly unproductive these past few days, I’ve been unendingly grateful to the people who have stuck by me through a rather rough holiday season. Let’s face it, it’s not all it’s always cracked up to be, but it’s the people who support and encourage you in life that make it all worthwhile. Just a kind word or simple conversation can make all the difference in a person’s day. (It certainly has for me!) So happy (belated) holidays! I’m still not done being festive here in Watch Me Juggle-land, and yes, I do still have my Christmas tree up. Here’s to the next year! May there be many more adventures.

EVA♥

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Adventures in Housesitting

Hello all!

I spent the last week of August housesitting. I should probably refer to this more as catsitting, as the house didn’t need as much attention as the two furballs I was charged with: Lily and Scamp. Since I didn’t do much traveling this summer, I thought I would have a bit of a staycation instead. Because of the crummy bay area weather lately, I unfortunately only got one day poolside, but I did spend a whole lot of time entertaining the rascal cats! They turned out to be quite the handful, in the best way possible.

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You know it’s “vacation” when your evening email perusal involves a can of champagne & a bendy straw.

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Despite my staycation consisting of things that I normally do (laundry, making dinner, etc.), it was nice to have a bit of a change of pace, a change of environment. Having two kitties follow me around certainly helped make me feel more at home. Despite being brother and sister, their little personalities couldn’t have been more different. Scamp (the giant cat sitting awkwardly in his cat tree above) behaved more like a dog than anything, constantly bringing me his toys and meowing at me incessantly. I would occasionally have entire conversations with him—he was a very Chatty Cathy. Lily, on the other hand, would only come out when I brought out food or when she was feeling like having a bit of attention. She was most definitely the more sensitive one of the two, but grew more used to having me around as the week wore on.

On top of having the cats to keep me entertained, I really enjoyed having a bit more space to spread out. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my little apartment, but it felt oddly luxurious to have a living room to have a cup of coffee in each morning. And of course there was the pool access! In short, I would highly recommend the occasional “staycation” vacation. It would have been lovely to have a few extra days off, but I’m currently squirreling away my vacation days to visit family back in Austria in November. I know that vacation is mere months away, and I’m so looking forward to it. In the meantime, I still get to visit the cats and lounge poolside, weather permitting. I certainly can’t complain.

EVA♥

Vegas.

Hello everyone.

As some of you might already know, I recently celebrated the last birthday of my 20s. If anyone asks, I recently turned 25. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it. A while back, I wrote about turning 27— how 27 was my “scary” age, and how I was closer to being “almost 30.” Well…as people like to remind me, the big 3-0 is now looming, and while I feel somewhat my age, I recall yelling at my friends over the music in the club:

“This is not where I imagined myself at 29!!”

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In actuality, it was even better than what I had imagined.

I had the best time. I danced until the sun came up, had countless drinks, enjoyed the warm weather poolside, stayed in a beautiful hotel, and even won $2.19!  It’s a strange phenomenon, Las Vegas. Each time I go, I can’t imagine how I could have a better time than before. Each time, I’m surprised. The people were personable and fun; everyone did the mandatory “surprised face” when I told them how old I was turning. One bouncer even exclaimed “Aw, you’re 20, aren’t you? This isn’t a real ID. We’re letting you in? You’re not even legal!” Well played, sir.

Although I can’t imagine staying much longer than three days at a time, coming home from Las Vegas is the hardest part. It’s truly the adult equivalent of Disneyland. There are few cities that have the energy of Vegas—it’s a “choose your own adventure” kind of place. There’s a seedy grittiness to it, as well as ridiculous excess and glamour.  At one point, I watched cocktail waitresses spray over a dozen bottles of champagne into a pool full of people. You can’t make this stuff up. I won’t deny that I perhaps imagined that my life would turn out a bit differently when I was younger (homeowner, ex-pat, novelist?), but I must say that I’m very happy it’s turned out the way it has.

Happy almost-30 to me!

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♥

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♥

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♥

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♥

Five Things

Hello all!

It’s been far too long since my last Five Things! Thankfully, the internet in my apartment is fully up and running (huzzah!), but I’ve been living the true 20-something life lately, and only using my apartment to sleep/occasionally chug coffee in. Even with all the running around, I’ve still been able to grab the occasional snapshot of my life. In case you haven’t realized it by now, I really enjoy food. Perhaps a bit too much. So, without further ado, I give you: Five Things!

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If you haven’t yet been to Craftsman and Wolves in San Francisco, you are missing out. Although it might be the most hipster bakery I’ve ever seen, their highly curated selection of pastries and sandwiches are just as tasty as they are beautiful. In case you’re wondering the dessert above is some sort of strawberry, lychee, early grey-cake-thing. Don’t ask questions- just eat.

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During my long internet drought, I amused myself by making massive dinners, like the above pictured turkey nachos. It would have been somewhat healthy had it not been for the whole chips/cheese combination. Delicious nonetheless, especially when paired with a good book! (And yes, I like to eat dinner in bed sometimes. Don’t worry, you will find a plate under all that food and foil.)

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My mother and I celebrated the most recent Mother’s Day with a little wine and cheese from our local Rock Wall Winery. It’s quickly become one of my favorite spots in town.

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If you happened to walk around San Francisco’s city hall lately, you might have noticed the giant inflatable bunny art installation happening outside. I’ve been told that they’re meant to represent the environmental destruction wrought by settlers in Australia during the late 1880s. Apparently, those bunnies can wreak some havoc.

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An amazing poke place opened up just a short walk away from my office. Ever since my first trip to Hawaii, I’ve been mildly obsessed with poke. It’s the perfect indulgent meal, while still feeling light. This serving was so big, I ended up eating it in shifts. I opted for some spicy salmon over brown rice, although you might not be able to see it quite well under the mountain of toppings.

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello everyone!

The last two weeks have been interesting, to say the least. I feel like I’ve finally adjusted to whole “spring-forward” time debacle (who would have thought one hour would make that big of a difference?!), but I have no idea where the entire month of March went. Anyone? Has anyone seen my March lying around? If so, please return it to its rightful owner.

I’ve had a terribly hard time balancing my busy schedule. I’m very comfortable with busy, but when I suddenly have a day all to myself, I find myself going into total retreat mode, talking to no one and having no idea what to do with myself. I cured this this past weekend by visiting the local farmer’s market, baking some brownies, and being generally lazy. Laziness can be wonderful, in moderation, of course. This week’s Five Things are snaps from the nice, somewhat-lazy moments in my week:

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I absolutely love lilacs, but rarely allow myself to buy them during the few times I find them in season. This weekend was different, and I’m so glad I did!

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I’ve been on a horrible avocado toast kick as of late. I had the very same meal pictured several days in a row, something I almost never do. To keep things interesting, I like making toast with fresh mozzarella, sea salt, garlic olive oil, and tomatoes to accompany the avocado toast.

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One of my favorite spots in downtown Oakland has to be Make Westing. I love their garden gimlet cocktails with fresh mint, basil, and cucumbers. It’s like salad in a glass!

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I recently had the pleasure of attending the wedding of a former coworker of mine. The invite itself was intended for my mother, but due to a series of unfortunate events, I ended up going instead! I loved the little Tiffany and Co. themed favors at each table, each filled with customized M & M’S. Very cute.

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I absolutely love my Nespresso machine (read all about it here!). I  got to take advantage of the “self-selection” vault the other day at the flagship location in San Francisco. All I needed was my credit card and my Nespresso key-fob and I went wild! Helping yourself to all the different coffee selections can be quite fun. Let’s face it, it’s probably the only “exclusive club” I’ll belong to for a long while.

Until next time!

EVA♥

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♥