We’re Engaged!

On our 8th anniversary of our first date, John and I got engaged!

I sorta had a feeling something was different when John decided to plan a weekend getaway for our anniversary, the weekend after we came home from New Orleans. I am the planner in this household – not because I have control issues, but John doesn’t really have strong opinions about where we stay or what we do, he’s so open and go with the flow. Someone has to plan! And it *normally* ain’t him… 😉

He booked us this beautiful remote cabin in the countryside of Wimberley, TX. If you aren’t familiar, Wimberley is a very cute artsy small town between Austin and New Braunfels located on the river with the most gorgeous scenery. A lot of people get married here or come for the big flea markets or antique shopping or craft fairs. It’s a sweetie place and super unique.

The first night we decided to head down to Gruene for dinner and drinks at Gruene Hall. This was the first place I took John to when he came to Texas to meet my family way back in 2014, we floated the river here, and we have fond memories. We initially talked about floating the river that weekend but we had so much rain that I didn’t feel safe (and it was overcast the entire time!).

After wining and dining in Gruene and shopping at the general store (where we got THEE CUTEST ornament of Gruene Hall – yes I am obsessed with Christmas tree ornaments) we opted to head home to enjoy our cabin. It was already getting late and more rain was en route. I had Google maps take us the most direct way back through the back roads which was entirely pitch black! If you are familiar with the weather in Texas you know that it can flash flood at a moments notice. We were about 5 minutes from the house and our last crossing was “Slime Bridge” – and we couldn’t cross at all! After getting out of the car to look at the water directly in front of our car (which I can see how other cars can get swept away!) we decided to turn around and head back a different way – which was another 40 minutes! On the flip side, John became obsessed with this bridge and loved that we crossed paths, who names a bridge “Slime Bridge”?!

This is Slime Bridge on a “normal” rainy day. We were driving in heavy rain after it had rained for weeks straight! There was NO WAY we were going to cross this path.

After safely returning to our cabin, we enjoyed some wine in the hot tub before watching a documentary on Roku about pasta. Named, The Shape of Pasta, Chef Evan Funke visits small towns in Italy and receives training from Nonnas on how to create the town pasta shape. He provides a thorough history lesson into each shape and brings them all back to his award winning restaurant, Felix, in Los Angeles. I love pasta so much I was purely fascinated by this! (AND – the next time I’m in LA I am eating at Felix!!!)

The next morning, we enjoyed our coffee in the hot tub, got ready for our day, and headed out for lunch when…John proposed! He tricked me into thinking that we were taking a timed selfie under the Live Oak tree, when he set it up as a video. So here I am, posing, asking how many seconds we have until the timer goes off….when John got down on one knee. While the video is ours and we are not making it public (not even with our family), I will share he did say that he loved me an incredible amount and couldn’t imagine life without me. It was very sweet and totally caught me off guard in the moment.

The ring is custom made from Avant Garde. John brought them his family diamonds, passed down from his mom (jewels from his Grandmother’s side of the family, some as old as the late 1800’s!). I love that it is a modern take on a vintage look. It’s totally me!

It felt like an out of body experience! We didn’t know what to do but we were hungry, so we went over to Creekside Cookers for BBQ and beers to celebrate. Afterwards, we went back to the cabin to drink champagne on the wrap around porch that John was saving. It was so sweet and special. We decided immediately that we didn’t want to tell anyone or talk to family for a full 24 hours so we could be with each other and soak it all in. Ahhh take me back…

A celebratory feast for two.

After basking in each other’s love and arms for the afternoon, we got dolled up and headed to Trattoria Lisina for drinks and pasta. I felt so beautiful! We had so much fun at this cutesy spot. And we decided we would get very small matching pasta tattoos! And that we wanted to visit Italy during our honeymoon (at least part of it 🙂 )

Our final day together before we broke the news to our family and friends was spent in downtown Wimberley walking along the river, having brunch at Ino’z, and doing some shopping.

We literally stared at the cabin with precious memories in our hearts, kissed, and parted ways to tell our families the news! John shared with me that he actually called my dad before our trip to ask his permission, which of course he said yes, and then told him not to share with anyone else. So when we called all of my sisters – they 100% had no idea and were all shocked! Everyone was thrilled for us, and in just a few short weeks we would be in California to celebrate with John’s family and our friends in SF! While I am not a super traditional person, my entire family is so it was nice to see that John talked to my dad beforehand.

A few days later my parents came into town to take us to dinner at Eberly and gave us beautiful crystal champagne flutes. We had champagne FOR DAYSSSS ❤

John and I were never in a rush to get married but we always knew it would happen for us someday. We are not having our own children. We plan on being together as a couple and should years down the road we want to adopt, we will cross that path. I have never felt that biological clock ticking and do not feel the pressure that I know so many of my friends have in regards to having kids before a certain age. Because of this, we were always happy being together no matter what “status” we were. Honestly we are sorta married in a way because we are already registered domestic partners in the state of California (this happened last year, when I lost my job due to COVID and got on John’s insurance). We are just happy to have found each other – where we can completely be ourselves. There’s never been any games or drama, we just are who we are. I am so happy to have met John, he is the perfect yin to my yang and we make a good team! I can’t wait to see what adventures life brings us together.

We are currently planning our wedding for next summer in Carmel Valley, CA. We are excited! And enjoying every moment.

One Year of the Pandemic: CA vs. TX

We’ve been in quarantine for over a year, and I’ve spent six months of quarantine in California and the second six months in Texas. As a Texan who grew up here for most of my life, with 12 years living in San Francisco, recently moving back – here are my thoughts on both experiences.

We lived on the corner of Alamo Square, so each morning I took my walks in this park and had easy access to crisp fresh air. Well, not at first. Truth be told, the first 3 weeks of quarantine in March 2020 I barely left my house, only to go to the grocery store once a week. I was super paranoid about COVID and not quite sure how it was spreading or what was going on (and I lost my job and was needless to say, depressed). Little by little my confidence in being able to go on daily walks and runs increased and soon I spent the majority of my outside time in this park. I miss this park so much!

As quarantine went on in San Francisco, I spent a fair amount of my time running and walking in Golden Gate Park. I walked to places I had never seen before! I usually clocked upwards of 7-10K steps daily and listened to all sorts of creepy podcasts along the way. The weather of course is always so amazing in California, perfect for long walks and hikes.

Hiking in California was relatively easy, because there are so many trails and land is available for public use outside of state and federal parks. You didn’t have to plan (unless the areas were closed from COVID) and it was easy to pick a trail and go. It was, however, much busier since so many people were stuck inside – but we were always able to hike whenever we wanted.

The thing that made everything even more depressing was that businesses were closing left and right in SF. Everything was boarded up. Few business were essential enough to be open, you couldn’t get a haircut for a very long time, and outdoor eating and drinking was on and off allowed, and monitored very heavily. Really the only thing you could do is sit 6 feet away from friends in the park. And we definitely did that a lot. But it was just incredibly sad. I had been in San Francisco for 12 years of my life. Of course cities change a lot over time when people move in and out and dynamics and economy changes the environment. SF was already different 2 years in vs. 6 years in vs. 12 years in of my experience. But it really was not the same city at all that I moved to.

Artists and locals were struggling to live there because of the cost of living, which is understandable, and many were forced out long before the pandemic. And in the years leading up to COVID, my favorite local hot spots, night clubs, dive bars were already on their way out. Musicians and DJs left for places like Berlin or Brooklyn or LA. SF was becoming more consumed with the tech community. I had worked in ad-tech before but for my last 2-3 years in the city I worked in entertainment marketing for the Curran theater, so I lost my job at the beginning of COVID because large theaters were a no-no, tech companies declared everyone could work from home, and the companies that had headquarters in SF laid off 20% of their workers – which was basically their marketing and advertising teams. So yeah, even more and more depressing. I’ve mentioned this before being one of the main reasons behind our decision to leave. And leaving was, VERY very hard for me. But, I know it would have been even harder for me if I stayed and watched the city that I loved dramatically change before my eyes without me being able to keep up.

I miss the coastline. Trees. The forest. Hiking. The amazing weather. Access to wine country and mountains and Tahoe. And of course our friends and John’s family. Being in nature during COVID is 100% better in California.

But, after a dozen years away from Texas, it’s a whole new adventure!

I still spend my run/walks in either the park closest to my house (5 minute drive) or downtown around Town Lake which is about 15 minutes away. Of course we miss the walk-ability of a city like SF. But having a car and being able to quickly get from point A to B is also incredibly nice. Plus the lakes here have their own unique environments, like the turtles that are around every bend, or the bats that live under the Congress bridge. Lake culture is also really fun!

The weather is obviously not as nice as California, but actually it hasn’t been as hot as I feared it would (though we are approaching summer months and I’m sure I’ll hate it). Weather in Texas can be completely unpredictable. We’ve had crazy thunderstorms, golf ball sized hail, triple digit heat, light snow flurries, AND an insane snowstorm that literally almost broke the grid and uprooted civilization for more than a week!

It keeps things very interesting! We’ve also been able to go on a lot of roadtrips and explore new places and small towns. Mostly with family, but we’ve stayed out on the lake and went on a boat adventure, stayed in a cozy AirBnb in the Hill Country and did some distant wine tasting, and also stayed in a haunted hotel in San Antonio. People in Texas are much more open about traveling and visiting areas than in California. They are a bit more independent from government and like to do what they want. I’m not saying it’s bad or good either way, just different. I would say that of my friends in California, John and I are more comfortable with traveling safely during COVID, always sanitizing along the way, sticking to ourselves, and never eating inside a restaurant. But compared to people in Texas, we are the ones who are more cautious about following the rules. We always wear a mask no matter what and constantly sanitize. To me that makes sense, and I know Californians follow those protocols because it’s what scientists have said to do. Not everyone feels that way here, but at least we are in Austin which is the most liberal part of the state, some parts of it feel MORE liberal to me than parts of the Bay Area. With that said, going on local travel and exploration during COVID is 100% more fun in Texas.

While restaurants in California are closed inside, and only available for takeout or outdoor dining when allowed, everything is open in Texas. That really struck me as weird when we first moved. People still eat inside like nothing is wrong. We are patio people 100%. However the good news is that most businesses have patios! Something not as available in San Francisco due to space restrictions. So yes, we go out to eat about once or twice a week and sit on a lovely patio and support our local restaurants. And we only drink at bars with patios. I enjoy this about our current living situation, and knowing Austin is the most strict of all places in Texas makes me feel safer. So eating and drinking out is 100% better in Austin. You can be safe and there is space to be distant outside, making you feel like there is still some semblance of normality. Also, Texas has HEB grocery stores and that is definitely better here than in CA – I love HEB so much! ( AND our local HEB around the corner has an outdoor bar patio, which is double amazing)

Swimming is something I’m super excited to do again! I rarely ever got in a bathing suit in CA outside of yearly Tahoe visits, and most of that time was for hot tubs. While there aren’t shaded forests, Texas has a lot of interesting geology, greenbelts, swimming holes, and batholiths. I’m excited to explore more in the summer and SWIM – something I feel I haven’t done much of the last twelve years. We will see how I handle the summer months.

Hiking in Texas is very different than in California. You need reservations everywhere you go, and must book them out weeks in advance. This is similar to how camping in California is, the best spots need to be booked out months in advance, so I understand that. But hiking was never an issue. Here, most of the land is privately owned so there isn’t as much available for people to just go hike. And with COVID, reservations are required. It’s kinda crazy to me that we can’t just go outside when we want and explore. But there are definitely places that don’t require reservations. There also aren’t as many hiking trails with elevation changes, so it can feel more like walking. But despite those differences there are some amazingly beautiful hikes we’ve explored. Overall, California is 100% better for hiking.

There are pros and cons to both experiences, and I love California and Texas in different ways. They make up different parts of my personality, and it’s ok that I feel connected to both. I really don’t understand the judgements folks have for both sides. Extreme Californians can’t stand people from red states, and won’t even listen to someone from Texas (this happened to me when I first moved to California during a business meeting) and people who have never left Texas think Californians are coming for their guns. LMAO. But also, it’s incredibly infuriating. I am a 5th generation Texan. My whole entire family is Texan. I mostly grew up here (alongside living outside of Yellow Springs in Ohio for my childhood) and there are some things I really love and admire about Texas. Not everything of course – I am very liberal and lived in San Francisco for 12 years! And obviously there are many things I love and admire about California, especially for me to uproot my life and independently move across country and stay for 1/3 of my life. I can feel connected to part of my heritage in Texas and also feel connected to the west coast life – you don’t have to be one or the other. You can be both. I am both. I am an incredibly independent, free thinking, ambitious hard working woman who believes we are all connected and everyone should have equal rights and access to free health care!

All I am saying here is, never judge someone based on where they live, you don’t know their story.

Goodbye SF, Hello Texas, and Reflections of COVID-19

I moved to San Francisco in 2008, shortly after my 23rd birthday. I only visited once and decided then and there I was moving, and three months later I arrived. I had only intended on living in the Bay for 2 years. I assumed I would have my fun (with a time limit) and then come back to Austin. Boy, was I way wrong!

In California I really came into my own. The longer time went on, the more extroverted I became. The more I found myself confident in my opinions, speaking up when I could. My style was OFF THE HOOK (I take pride in this!!). I made the best friends! Ones I know that I will be in touch with forever. I developed amazing skills and tried new hobbies – hello DJ world, improv performing community, hiking and watercolor times! I fell in LOVE. I found myself. So why decide to leave?

Truth by told, as much as I love San Francisco and cherished my time in the Bay, I had been feeling for a few years that I was ready for a new adventure somewhere else. John and I had been talking about trying something new together for a while and couldn’t ever really decide. When I started working in marketing for the Curran theater, I knew that I would be tied to SF as long as I had this job. I grew my skill-set so much! I planned so many amazing parties, red carpet events, after parties and beyond. I was an avid part of the VIBE of the city. (I want to address my career separately, so am only touching on it here). But when COVID first came around I lost my job pretty immediately, and all of entertainment went cold, I felt the time came to make a big change.

I know I am a super intuitive person. I was the first person in our group of family and friends that realized, very early on, how big of a deal COVID would be. I envisioned losing my job immediately, industries shutting down, flocks of people moving out of cities – things closing for months on end. Despite feeling this way, I persevered. Everyone was let go, letting go of more people, and places were on hiring freezes. Businesses were closing left and right. It felt hopeless. I tried everything I could everyday to get a new job. I brushed up on my skills and got 3 additional marketing certifications. I didn’t feel confident that the job market had my back in SF, with remote work blooming everywhere and everything described above. John’s work was always remote, so we decided it was time. From a career perspective, Austin felt right because I knew companies would be moving work with all of the tax breaks and cheaper cost of living, so all of the opportunities I once had in SF were now relocated as well.

I ended up going back to work for a previous employer, remotely, and an old amazing (and very chill) boss who confirmed I could move anywhere I wanted. This was so exciting because I knew what I was getting into when all of the rest of the world felt scary. I was going to have a reliable source of income with great work-life balance, and could live anywhere I wanted…

You see, John wants to go to grad school….in Edinburgh! He likes the program at the university and has connections through his work. It would be a 1 year plan and we intend to go in a year from now, when vaccines are administered to everyone and travel is opened up. So in the meantime, we decided, it was the time to be closer to my family. Hence, preparations for Texas were en route.

The weekend we decided to move we were in Carmel.
My California man, taking a risk to become a Texan temporarily and live in a *gasp* RED STATE!

Telling our family and friends was the hardest part, but for the most part everyone was pretty supportive and excited for us. Austin is a really rad town, it was where I went to college 15 years ago and the first city I fell in love with. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I spent the last 12 years building myself up to be this person, a West Coast performer who loves nature and the great outdoors – how could this person exist in Texas? Where it’s HOT and the views don’t always align with my own?

I grieved. A LOT. I cried. EVEN MORE. But after everything is said and done, I knew deep down this was what we were supposed to do. My parents are in their 70s and I’ve been gone a long time. If anything, COVID has taught us that we are not promised tomorrow. So make memories while you can, NOW.

Our socially distant, Alamo Square park goodbye shindig.

I loved my apartment on Alamo Square so much. I lived there for 10 years, and the park was on my front doorstep! It did me well, and later on, John moved in and it did him well too 🙂 . I am forever grateful for the memories we created with our friends and families who visited us and spent time in our home. The backyard BBQs, charades, dance parties to records in the living room, Tuesday Night Dinner club, and more! While I knew I could stay there as long as I wanted, I was ready to grow and that entailed being uncomfortable.

We packed our belongings, sent them off to Texas, and said our final goodbyes with tears in our eyes. It was very painful leaving, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I feel so connected to California. We want to move back and settle down when we are ready to do so – but we have more adventures ahead (in Texas and Edinburgh and maybe somewhere else along the way).

The last sunset in our neighborhood we experienced, before moving the next morning.

We drove across country with Beatrix in tow and stopped at some unique places along the way (I’ll write about that as a separate post). After navigating Las Vegas, Moab Utah, Denver Colorado, Amarillo and New Mexico, we eventually made our way to our new home in Austin. We have been here a few short months and it finally feels like we’ve settled into our new surroundings. And merging old Texas Emily with current California Emily is a lot easier than I thought. I am the best version of me yet! I am so excited for what is in store this coming year – I feel very grounded and have had lots of time to reflect and plan goals.

In our new home in Austin.

Throughout everything, John and I are lucky and happy to have each other in this crazy time. We both have steady remote jobs that allow us the flexibility to explore our surroundings. We have our cute cat who snuggles us everyday. We have close friends down the street, who also moved from SF just 6 months prior to us! My family is only a 2 hour drive away. And we frequently zoom and facetime with his family and our friends back home. Who knows where our future will take us, but for now – we are taking it one step at a time.

Happy 2021, may it bring you health, wealth, and happiness!

33 And Me

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEE ❤ . Last Friday I turned 33 years old and had a big ole Olympic themed birthday extravaganza to celebrate. It was a special birthday and the vibrations were high on life! Maybe because of the energy of the Olympics, since it comes every 4 years, but things felt great and now I’m even older than I was before.

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I’m aging like a fine wine and some things that I’ve really started to love in my 30s are:

  • Staying in to cuddle / play with my cat. Yes I am a cat lady and have always been. But I didn’t get Beatrix until about 3-4 years ago. My 20s were all about exploring events, meeting new people, finding things outside of my home to occupy my time. I wanted to have my own cat for many years before I finally did it, and I’m glad I waited because I don’t think I would have had the full 20s social experience that was mine here in one of the biggest cities in the country. Plus my cat rules so hanging out with her is always a win in my book! I think it makes me MORE creative…
  • Habitually reading before bed / going to bed at a reasonable hour / getting up earlier in the day. YES. I know. I am NOT a morning person by any means. However getting up around 8am on a Saturday morning to make tea and head to an early yoga or boot-camp class…SIGN ME UP. I love being productive earlier in the day and relaxing at night. And the crazy books I’ve been getting into lately….MORE PLEASE!
  • Realizing that food / drinking / lack of sleep affects my body differently now. You have to change your habits from your 20s because they make you feel like ass in your 30s. It might sound sad to you if you are in your twenties now, but believe me it’s not sad at all. In the last few months I’ve realized a LOT about my health and patterns that I needed to change, and honestly I LOVE FEELING PHYSICALLY good!
  • Personal / life reflection. I’ve been really introspective in the last year. 32 was a super challenging year for me emotionally, realizing things about myself that I wasn’t very aware of in the past. I believe it’s always good to be open and honest about who you are and where you want to go. Sometimes you can’t get there without letting go of some baggage.
  • Wanting more podcasts and documentaries. YES. I never thought I would not listen to music regularly or want to watch something scripted, but LEARNING is where it’s at in your 30s my friends. WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF REAL LIFE STORIES!

 

IMG_1036.jpgI can haz Rick & Morty?!

We are all unique individuals who live on this rotating planet, on the third rock from the sun (anyone else here grow up watching that gem??) and it’s a pleasure that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I MADE IT ANOTHER YEAR! I get to learn even more crazy things I like about myself and evolve! Here’s to many new adventures in 33 🙂

 

 

Watercolor Delight

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When I was a little girl I was VERY very shy. People freaked me out (let’s be honest, they STILL do) and I didn’t talk much. In order to become more social, my dad forced me to take a LOT of community classes (drama and art) and play on various sports teams. I loved the sketching and painting classes and always wish that I continued on with art (and theatre too tbh), but when band came into my life there was little room for anything else.

Now that I am older and exploring my creative outlets, I recently fell back into painting. I took some watercolor classes last fall with the City College Continuing Education program, and I rekindled a love that I hadn’t thought about in a while. It came back to me pretty easily and is *kinda* like riding a bike. I’ve also been working on my hand lettering too; it’s really fun to learn!

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Seinfeld forever.

 

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Whale you?

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If you want to get that boy’s SOUL.

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NOM NOM.

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Consider me Miles Davis.

I want to continue to work on my style and eventually create and sell prints. I love how painting brings out my creativity that I otherwise don’t get to utilize in my day to day job (as it is definitely more math and data oriented). Hopefully I will have more updates around this soon! #demilsart

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Spring Cleansing

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Spring has sprung y’all and I am feeling it! I think this last winter was a bit of a roller coaster for me, emotionally and mentally, and I feel like I’m in a good spot at the moment, taking it all in, and working on my “spring cleansing” if you will.

I am an idealist. My Myers-Briggs personality profile is INFP. It’s literally part of the idealist category. I also struggle with perfectionism. I think of grandiose “shoulds” in my mind and get down sometimes at the fact that I’m not even close to my grandiose vision, when in reality, the only person who could even be close to those goals would be a superhuman like Oprah or Elon Musk. And I’m NOT a superhuman, so why do I create superhuman goals??!

We live in a very different world now than our parents and our grandparents. Everything is a lot easier now. We communicate much more quickly. Think about the middle ages and how long it would take to even get a love note!!! And now we live in a world where people can “swipe left” and instantly connect with a love interest. We NEED instant gratification now, and not everything is set up that way. So we get down on ourselves when we don’t lose weight fast enough, or we didn’t save as much money as we thought we would, or the fact that we don’t have a boyfriend just yet. It can make you crazy and it definitely makes me nuts sometimes. And when you toggle a lot of things ongoing like work goals, fitness goals, hobby goals, relationship goals, financial goals, etc – it’s pretty easy to be “goaled out.”

I do this to myself. I am my own worst critic. I give myself way to much to focus on and when I start to feel like I’m stretched thin or that I don’t have the energy for something I get REALLY down on myself, that I didn’t get to where “in my perfect world” I THOUGHT I would be. But one thing I’m trying to focus on this year, is removing this way of thinking from my patterns and be more present. At the end of the day, I want to congratulate myself on what I DID vs. what I DIDN’T accomplish.

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I’ve also decided to pause my efforts on some things that I didn’t feel I was putting 100% of my energy into, like my radio show. I just got to a point where I had my obligations, work-life balance, social calendar, fitness calendar, etc etc and I wasn’t happy allotting my precious time to hobbies or interests that weren’t making me happy anymore. And you know what, I feel a lot less stressed out! I want to talk about music, how it’s influenced my life, where I am now in a bigger post, but right now I wanted to share that it’s ok to take breaks. It’s ok to feel like you can’t do everything. It’s ok to take time to yourself for a breather and re-focus. Some people call it spring cleaning, and I call it spring cleansing  🙂

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You got this! Pause the things that aren’t working for you anymore, reflect, and listen to yourself. Maybe there are new interests waiting for you around the corner!

February Birthday Month Extravaganza

Now that March is almost over, I can finally blog about February! HA! Y’all have no idea how busy I’ve been the last couple months, so the fact that I am FINALLY even writing this post is amazing. #thefutureisfemale I KNOW all my lovely loyal readers were DYING to know what I’ve been up to lately, losing sleep every night due to my lack of blog updates, BUT HERE WE ARE PEOPLE! <cry laughing> 😉

John and I are both February babies, same week even! February was a pretty busy social month for us, from St. George spirit tasting in Alameda, to a surprise viewing of Silence of the Lambs (comedy!!!) musical, to Mortified storytelling, and a crazy trip to Tahoe in between, there was plenty of fun that was had.  I did miss this blog dearly, but think about all of the cool stuff you’re gonna hear about now.

 

IMG_0670St. George spirit tasting crew! Their gin is the best, but they also have brandy and vodka.

IMG_0624.jpgBrother-sister time at Faction Brewery with breathtaking views of the Bay.

IMG_0765.jpgSRSLY the funniest musical right now! I almost keeled over when I saw the backup dancers dressed as lambs…

I think it’s fun that we both get to celebrate our birthdays together! But it’s also Valentine’s Day too, so we kinda have to limit what all we end up doing as far as eating out goes. Usually a big group outing on one of our birthdays, a private night out on the other birthday, with a nice chill night together at home cooking for Valentine’s Day. We both worked in the food industry for many years and Valentine’s Day is literally THEE WORST night out to eat in the entire year. DON’T DO IT!!! This year we opted to make our own goat cheese and spinach stuffed ravioli with a tomato, basil, lemon, and parmesan sauce, while watching our favorite series on TV right now, The Magicians (more on that later…I can do an entire post dedicated to sci-fi entertainment BTW). #scifiFTW

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Our Tahoe trip didn’t go according to ANY of our plans, which made for a very interesting trip to say the least. SO MANY MEMORIES!! It was absolutely gorgeous and nice to be in a cozy cabin among a winter wonderland with great friends.

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We were surprised by our friends with this BOMB DOT COM purple glitter birthday cake on the first night. It was truly unique and tasted delish with a passion fruit mango filling! Have you ever heard of passion fruit mango cake or filling? I HAVE NOT. It was a cake for made the gods. Which means I am a goddess…

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Upon first glance this cabin looks adorable, but upon further inspection it is indeed a cursed cabin! (our friend broke her leg falling down the stairs, the morning after we had a 6 hour plumbing problem!)

IMG_1064But ahhhhhhh that view tho…

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My favorite part of the trip was getting this SUPER RAD narwhal Kigurumi which I practically didn’t take off! It’s a big thing with my friends, everyone is a different creature and I finally got one and I love all things narwhal now! They are the unicorn of the sea… I couldn’t be a unicorn because Rosie already had it, so this was just perfect and uniquely me. John got a walrus one too, and we basically lounged in them all weekend while watching a vast array of dvd options from our Airbnb,  due to the cable being out from the BIG STORM.

IMG_1132.jpgLook at all that snow! We were stuck in traffic for 4 hours in the SAME SPOT due to avalanche control :-/ BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!

As you can see we were pretty busy all month, and I didn’t even get into everything going on at work. With a big industry conference at the end of February and some work travel to Vegas mixed in, I haven’t been available to decompress until now! FEAR NOT my readers, you’ll be seeing more of me soon… (you’re gonna get so much rest tonight I bet)!

xo-

Emily

Happy Holladaze!

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MERRY EVERYTHING 2K16 – and happy winter solstice! We are heading off on a holiday extravaganza trip to Texas where we will stay in San Antonio and Houston, and then make our way to NOLA for NYE. I can’t wait to embark on our journey and I hope you have a festive holiday as well. And if not, there’s ALWAYS alcohol…

Be back in 2017 to blog more about everything and nothing. Xo – Emily.

Thankful & Stuffed

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2016 has been a crazy year full of tremendous change. We saw loads of sudden musician deaths, an insane presidential season with our first reality star president elect, and had never ending hangovers (I don’t know about you but I don’t think I’ve been more drunk in my life! And getting older, these hangovers don’t feel any better). While it’s easy to get down about losing our favorite celebrities (<tear for Prince & Bowie>), the fact that the Giants lost their chance to play in THEE World Series in an even year (WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!) AND Golden State Warriors lost the playoffs, or the state of our country (ahem #notmypresident)… I was thankful to celebrate what I DO have in my life, instead of what I don’t.

Things like:

  • An awesome boyfriend. John moved in earlier in the year and things have never been better. While I know of some other friends who are already married with kids, newly married or newly engaged, or just plain been living with their significant other for a while (or recently split from living with a significant other) – THIS is my first live-in boyfriend and a really big step for me. Not to mention, he’s a cutie ❤
  • Our adorable baby cat. She is the best emotional support cat there is (look up #beatrixvonwhiskerton on my instagram if you want proof).
  • RENT CONTROL Y’ALL.
  • A loving family, even though they are another state away. While we might not always agree on everything, I have a very supportive and loyal family who is always there for me no matter what. Also, I have the most diverse, eclectic group of sisters that a girl could ask for and they are great role models.
  • My awesome friends! I love those weirdos! CAN I TAKE YOUR PICTURE SO WE CAN MAKE MEMORIES?!
  • This damn city. SAN FRANCISCO YOU ARE WONDERFUL! I feel that I have really come into my own the last almost decade I’ve been here. (WHAT I’M GETTING SO OLD). Where else can you witness the rolling fog (Karl), run in Golden Gate Park, have bonfires at Ocean Beach, get #lit at Gay Pride, experience Bay to Breakers, see too much, see things you never even knew could happen (FOLSOM STREET FAIR if you want specifics), go hiking – wine tasting – camping all at your finger tips, and wear costumes for any and every occasion?!
  • Tapping into my creative outlet. Whether it’s through podcasting + djing, art, THIS BLOG, cooking, or attempting the new makeup tutorial, I am thankful that I possess drive to try new and creative things.
  • My health.

Here’s to the best stuff out of our shit bag of a year, y’all. Let’s make 2017 GREAT all around 😉

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Sideways in Sonoma

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I’m pretty thankful for the fact that I live so close to wine country. It’s easy to gather some friends, get on the highway, and find yourself among the vineyards within an hour. While I used to take advantage of this much more when I was newer to the city, it never gets old having a #wineday. And going during autumn is my absolute FAVORITE time of year to experience wine tasting. The vineyards are colorful (not just green), it’s a bit slower paced, and I can get wine drunk while wearing comfortable sweaters. WINE WIN! I personally gravitate towards Sonoma over Napa because it is less touristy, has cheaper tastings, and people are more down to earth. Not to mention it’s a tad bit closer to the city, and less time in car = more time drinking, so LET’S GO!

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I love starting out tasting sparkling wine first because it’s a great way to ease into your day, especially when you start tasting at 11am. Domaine Carneros is my absolute favorite sparkling tasting experience; the view is amazing, the wine is very dry (just what I love), and they have caviar! I love getting all bougie up in there because I am not bougie in real life so it is an all around cool experience. (Caviar should be round, and hard, and of adequate size, and should burst in your mouth at *precisely* the right moment. #overboardforever).

Gloria Ferrer is another good option for a day starter and is close by in Sonoma, but you might have to wait if you don’t have a reservation. I know a lot of people like Domaine Chandon as well, but it’s a bit too crowded for me on a normal day. I like to go when there isn’t anyone there so I can have a good seat and order oysters, because #idontlikecrowds #introvertproblems.

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I’ll be makin’ room for some more vino in this sweater dress ❤

Another fun spot is Cuvaison. This is probably my favorite place in Sonoma. They are small but have a GREAT VIEW, fun people work there, and the wine is on point! I could spend an entire afternoon just lounging outside on the patio. They also released a new wine with label artwork by THEE Andy Warhol! Super artsy and different – check.

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I mean, LOOK AT THAT VIEW!

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I usually almost always stop by one of my longstanding favorite spots, Bartholomew Park. You can’t buy the wine anywhere other than at the vineyard, they have a gorgeous picnic area and hiking trails, a wine history museum, and THE BEST sauvignon blanc this side of New Zealand! Srsly check them out if you make your way to the area.

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John & I at Bartholomew last year on a hot summer day. You can honestly have a fashion shoot in these vineyards, as I have had many times…

Other places that I enjoy in Sonoma are Ravenswood, Artessa, Gundlach Bunschu, Truchard (a fav of my sis and her SOMMOLIER HUSBDAND y’all), and Larson Family Winery (they have cornhole!).

Some things to note:

  • Most places comp your tastings if you buy a bottle so if you end up liking something it’s almost always more cost effective to buy a bottle rather than just pay for the tasting (depending on how $$$ it is).
  • You WILL have wine lips so it’s good to have wine wipes close by as to not embarrass yourself.
  • DRINK WATER!
  • Take fun pictures in the vineyards drunk that you can show off to your crew later. “Hey guys, I found my new profile pic!! New Christmas card, anyone?”
  • In the holiday season, always wear ugly sweaters. Sometimes you might be surprised at how amazing people will treat you in an ugly sweater.
  • It’s easy to walk into another party’s limo; I recommend not doing this unless you purposely want to start a commotion – then proceed.
  • Have a great time 🙂

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Ugly sweater extravaganza a few holidays ago.