City By The Bay

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It’s well known that San Francisco is gorgeous AF. We really are spoiled here, between the rolling mountains, wine country, ocean and bay, amazing Victorian architecture and more, it’s no wonder SF is one of the most sought out places to live in the world and why I thank my lucky stars that I have rent control.

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But if you aren’t a local there are many other unique and interesting things that make SF eclectic….like:

  • Hanging out “in the park” is what everyone does – there are parks EVERYWHERE, and it’s a perfectly logical thing to get together at one of them (Golden Gate, Alamo Square, Dolores, Crissy Field – many more!) and picnic ALL DAY, day drink, play games, or even smoke on the weekends.
  • There are more costumed events here than in any other city! Bay to breakers, the binge drinking event built around wearing costumes and walking a running race route, is the biggest costumed event in the Bay all year.  Of course there is also Halloween, but there are many themed bar crawls and events that require costumes at all times of the year (Victorian ball, anyone?!), no one bats an eyelash when seeing many people dressed up (or even nude, as we are the biggest nude town in America as well).
  • It’s perfectly acceptable for vendors to walk around parks, selling edibles and their baked good treats like brownies and truffles, for consumption in public.
  • Apparently, as I learned on a documentary show on Vice called Slutever (omg great name BTW) that there are weed oriented sex products and parties on the reg in the Bay. I’ve lived here 10 years and never knew that, but now I do and am not surprised one bit!

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I love this goober’s smile ❤ R E S P E C T

Whether or not you want to partake in any of those things, the Bay is a CHILL place to be, where you can be a mermaid any day of the week and no one would think that is strange. I love this big weirdo of a town! ❤

It’s the Lands End Of the World as We Know It

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As January comes to a close I reflect over the past 31 days with fondness. January felt really awesome in a lot of ways! Did you feel that too, or was it just me? From slowing down and being more available “with myself” to incorporating more yoga into my routine to FINALLY getting a DSLR and embarking on a new hobby (and goal) –  I feel very pleased with how 2018 has blasted off. Nope, I didn’t watch the State of the Union Address either because I am focusing on things that make me happy at this time in my life, but I heard about the crazy drinking games surrounding it and I think that WOULD be the only way I could have watched it tbh… but let’s move on to the BEAUTIFUL LEFT COAST!

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Just creepin’ around….INTO YOUR SOUL.

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Lands End is one of my favorite places for a nice trail walk in the city. It’s at the edge of the city (hence the name Lands End…DUH) right where the cliffs meet the ocean and the thick fog meets the gorgeous forest. It’s not super close to our house but also not too far either. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors without having to drive away from the city or embark on a strenuous 8 mile hike. Or as I would say, lazy nature. ❤

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I am really getting into this photography thing and I’m also pleasantly surprised that John is taking a liking to it too, maybe even more so than me! But that’s all good news because #instagramhusband and all. (Who else is going to take my picture to prove that I’m a #realblogger? 😉 )

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Look at the surfers from way up top! They look like ants. The ocean is like a center for ants….

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This view is so gorgeous. The west coastline takes my breath away for real. When I get overstimulated, I take a walk outside, find a park, breathe in the fresh crisp air, and think about all of the things that I am grateful for, like THIS CITY OMFG Y’ALL!!!!!

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And what a perfect flower to stumble upon at the end of our walk, SPRING IS COMING and I’m taking it all in! But right now, let’s live for today and focus on what is in front of us…like BIRTH MONTH FEBRUARY – HOLLA! ❤

GUALALAAAAA LOVE

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Last month John and I had a little getaway up north to Gualala, just right off the coast. It very much felt like the vibe from the AMC series of Bates Motel, if that means anything to you (not gonna lie, if it’s creepy I’ve probably seen it). We found a badass Airbnb on a private property in the redwood forest WITH A PRIVATE HOT TUB!!!!!

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It was so nice to get off the grid for a little bit. Working in tech and living in SF can make one lost in touch with nature and the outside world of not being on your phone all the time, which is why we always make an effort to get outside and hike and remove ourselves from technology. We were blessed with great weather that allowed us to kayak for a few hours, and it was a ton of fun just the two of us, the river, kayak, and sunshine.

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Northern California is just SO DAMN BEAUTIFUL, I tell you what (any King of the Hill fans here?). While mid-kayak we stumbled into this campsite off the river that was in off-season. It felt strange walking around this abandoned campsite, exploring the space alone. Although this particular campsite was super awesome and beautiful, I would totally go camping there in the future.

IMG_8014.jpgHello 1983? Can you bring back 80’s camping movie vibes into current modern day media? K, thanks~

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The water was pretty low since it was in fall season. John had to drag us through a couple low points barefoot which was funny to experience. But if you happen to make a trip to Gualala, I highly suggest kayaking or camping as it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen!

IMG_7987.jpgHOT TUB TIME MACHINE HAPPY HOUR FOR THE WIN!

Relaxing in the woods was just what we needed. It could have been a scary movie at any point, as most start usually with a cabin in the woods or a hike gone wrong. But luckily we didn’t fall victim to any weirdos out there lurkin’. (#murderino #stayoutoftheforest)

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One night we ate out at St. Orres, this enchanting old timey parlor house that serves delicious fancy cocktails. We definitely knew we were in a small town as we were asked frequent questions about who we were, where we were from, what were we doing in Gualala, WHAT WERE OUR RISING SIGNS?!, etc. It was a completely different vibe from the city, that’s for sure 🙂

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We took one last hike from the back of our Airbnb to this glorious viewpoint before heading out on our next adventure up the road at Hearn Gulch Cove.

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We found the enchanting pathway that lead from the top of the cliff down into the cove, and felt like we were the only people on earth!

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IMG_8083.jpgGoonies vibes, anyone? #ourtimedownhere

After saying goodbye to Gualala we drove down the beautiful PCH and ended up at Fort Ross, an old Russian fort from the mid-1800’s, because #history.

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What a much needed refreshing weekend with my boo in a gorgeous and relaxing environment! Happy to share our experiences with you. ❤

 

 

Hallowkeen + Other Fall Updates

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My oh my don’t I love a good Halloween and fall season! I guess they don’t call me the Queen of Halloween with my peers for nothing…

This year John and I decided to be Burt Macklin and Janet Snakehole, the fun alter egos of Andy and April on Parks & Rec. It’s a pretty easy costume that takes minimal effort but is still unique, cute, and comfortable (and if I do say so myself, being comfortable is alllll the rage as you age 😉  ). I admit that it’s more fulfilling for me to put in hard work on a costume for many weeks (like the Bjork swan dress I made a few years ago) rather than opting for something simple and easy, but it’s impossible to have energy like that year in and year out. Only Heidi Klum can wear the TRUE Hallowkween crown

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This cute vintage veil pillbox hat was only $20 on Amazon! Now I have something to wear to the weddings of my mere frenemies for the future to come!

Even Beatrix dressed up! This year she opted for Meowry Catoinette and meowed all night “let them eat cake!” just like you would expect.

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Look at that beauty! ❤

Fall is also my favorite time for weddings. Fall foliage makes for great scenery and a fun impromptu photo shoot. Just check us out at John’s step-brother’s recent fall wedding down in Soledad…

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How sweet is this crushed blue velvet bell sleeve dress? I bought it from Elsie’s closet last year. It’s an original Red Velvet original creation by way of A Beautiful Mess (RIP Red Velvet).

John is becoming quite the Instagram boyfriend if I don’t say so myself. He only learns from the best I guess!

While we only have a little bit of fall time left before winter “officially” comes, let’s remember to enjoy these beautiful moments before they slip away and I have fall fomo for another 9 months…

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A Hidden Gem Within The Santa Cruz Mountains

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A few weeks ago John and I made our way down to Loch Lomand, a hidden recreation center located in the middle of the Santa Cruz mountains. I had been before with a friend in the past but wanted to show him how cool I thought the area was and knew he would love it. Turns out, I was right! #duh

I navigated him about an hour and a half south of the city, and many twists and turns later, we found ourselves in a hidden mountain neighborhood area loaded with a lot of “keep out!” signs. He was convinced we were not in the right place, and I kept reassuring him by saying “Patience, young grasshopper.”

Once we found the entrance and paid the $6 fee, we made our way to the glorious nature escape we were hunting for. This lake is SO GORGEOUS! You can rent paddle boats, go fishing, and picnic along the water to get some glorious sun. #vitamindplease

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We must have picked a crazy busy day to explore because there were children EVERYWHERE waiting for a paddle boat.  While it was cute, being around a bunch of screaming kids wasn’t exactly the nature get away we were looking for, so we opted for a hike around the water and up into the mountains.

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My goal was to take John to the top for the vista point, but there was just too much poison oak that it deterred us from going up higher. I mean, it COVERED the entire trail, even several feet out from the sides. This picture was about as high up that we got, but it was still really fun and cute, and all in all we hiked 3 miles.

Once we left Loch Lomand we headed to the Cremer House for a delicious bite accompanied by a tremendous beer selection. This place is SO FRICKING GOOD. I loved every part of it and I would gladly go again. Then we proceeded to do some vintage store thrifting, which is like John’s favorite thing on the planet. See I like the more curated vintage shops, the kinds that have everything organized by color and it’s clean and cute and doesn’t smell like mothballs. John will straight up dig through boxes of “goods” that people leave put out on the street. And sometimes he finds something good. Most of the time he tends to find things like a casserole book from the 70’s. It’s hit or miss. BUT Felton does have a good amount of random mountain town thrift stores, if that’s your thing!

I’m bummed we didn’t get to the top of the mountain, as I did per my previous trip (pic below) but I am glad we had a good time and got to explore! California is full of so many great day-cations and I want to explore them all.

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Until next time!

Team Palm Springs

Palm Springs had been on my list of vacation getaways ever since I moved to California. I don’t know how it is that I’ve been living in this beautiful state for 9 years without ever crossing paths with PS, but it finally happened, I loved it, and I can’t wait to go back!

My old roommate (or as we used to joke, wombmate, since we were practically attached at the hip for a good several years) is getting married next month, so she invited a gaggle of girls to celebrate the end of her single-hood in the glamorous desert city. Our AirBnb house was AMAZING, complete with a salt water pool, and I don’t think I would ever stay in a hotel in the future knowing how beautiful and affordable the homes are.

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Some of the only pictures I took from the inside of our retro place.

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I practically lived in this pool all weekend.

Once I knew we were headed down south, I looked to see if there were any crazy art exhibits close by that we could check out and I found out about the mirage house. A full house art exhibit, completely covered in mirrors in the middle of the desert! IT WAS GORGEOUS!!

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The only picture of all 11 ladies!

It was fun to be with a good group of women who, even though we are all spread out across the country, we are all from Texas (except Amy I still got you girl!). Just to be silly together and celebrate #Merkelle was exactly what the doctor ordered. Plus, because we are Texan women, we brought our own INFLATABULL float! (This thing is a terror if you aren’t careful! I could NOT mount it at all #fail. Also look how HUGE it is – takes up SO MUCH SPACE and also took forever to inflate, but man was it WORTH it).

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This little PRICK nabbed my hand! We pulled out about 10-15 little needles and it wasn’t too bad, although I still have scars.

We all heard stories about gay bars in Palm Springs not being particularly welcome to bachelorette parties and for us to be cautious. We didn’t dress up in sashes or crowns or penis whistles or anything because that is TACKY AF, but we were pleasantly surprised at how accommodating every place was once they knew we were a bachelorette party. It was the exact opposite of what we heard! RetroRoom Lounge was a complete delight and had some of the best Whitney Houston drag I’ve ever seen! Long story short, Palm Springs is like the Austin of California in the way of many bachelorette parties everywhere. #gonnaseeleythedealy

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A few girls stayed an extra day over at the infamous Saguaro Palm Springs hotel, and I SWEAR it felt like MTV Spring Break 1994. The pool was so intense: people danced on floats, shots galore, there was a full on bathing suit photoshoot, and an EDM DJ at like 9am. It was so lit! I am glad I went because I got to see the hotel without having to stay there, PLUS there was thee cutest Barbie doll shadowbox exhibit in the lobby and I almost DIED. It’s no secret that I love Barbie art…

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It was a great time! We LOVED celebrating Raquel, and hope it was everything she dreamed of ❤

Baiiiii Palm Springs, let’s not let another NINE YEARS go by without saying hi.

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