Edinburgh, Scotland 2019

Edinburgh, Scotland was the second portion of our European birthday trip from February 2019 (we traveled in Iceland prior to arriving in the UK). John and I have our birthdays 4 days apart in early February, and over the years we’ve created a tradition to explore someplace new together. We had a tiny layover in London after departing Reykjavik but it was a smooth travel experience and we made it to our AirBnb in Old Town Edinburgh by 5pm, just in time to have celebratory shots with our neighbors before hitting up a pub for dinner and drinks! (Seriously this never would have happened in Iceland, as mentioned, folks are a bit more to themselves. First thing we heard after opening our door was “Hey are you visiting? Want to come take a shot?” – talk about contrast!)

We stayed a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Edinburgh Castle and had the most beautiful views from our AirBnb. The next morning we made our way over to the castle for a tour and high tea service. It is one of the touristy-historic things I had on my list and worth it! We got our tickets online a few days before, but it wasn’t busy at all when we were there.

After the castle tour, as we walked down the street, we passed a man with an owl named Genevieve and she took a liking to John. We didn’t even ask to hold her, she just flew over to him as we passed by (I’m sure it’s a scheme but I sorta have this idea that birds flock to John because he’s some sort of secret Disney prince, like what happened when we were in British Columbia).

The Scott Monument was my FAVORITE building.

Victoria Street is the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter! It is adorable and full of cute boutiques. We got everyone in the family plaid scarves for a real deal. I scored local watercolor art prints of the castle. And John got a cute old-timey Scottish cap.

Remember how I mentioned that you had to plan everything in Iceland? Well, Scotland was the opposite and in the evening we had time to explore something random in the moment, so we ended up going to see this local Sherlock Holmes improv troupe at the Monkey Barrel! It was fun to see their interpretation, complete with a PIANIST who also made up the melody as the story evolved? Hands down some of the most fun we’ve ever had. This was our favorite day on our whole week’s long trip. A little bit of structure but time to adapt to our surroundings and also spontaneously see something new. AND LAUGH! It was a creative show and only $5!

We also explored the area around Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park. I wanted to climb to the top but totally wore the wrong outfit: pink corduroy pants with fancy booties. When in doubt, choose functionality over fashion in Scotland <lol>

The next morning we wanted good Scottish comfort food and enjoyed Mum’s for shepherds pie. GO THERE! One of our favorite things to do is ask the locals places they enjoy to frequent: bars, restaurants or shopping areas. This is how you find the best gems that are not always obvious to the tourist (or even on Google). She guided us to a fun underground bar called Bramble. It was actually underground, had the most creative cocktails, and a DJ spinning hip hop records. We loved it and still talk about it to this day! We even went twice…hehe.

Afterwards, we made our way to Craigmillar Castle where I had a crazy paranormal experience. I felt some intense negative energy downstairs in the wine cellar that stuck with me for 2 whole weeks. (Intense demonic dreams, severe stalking and harassment from men, just general unease). After researching I found out that King James III kept his brother prisoner in the wine cellar where he died, after being accused of witch craft. And I also found out that there was a secret entrance to a Hellfire Club down there in the 18th century. These clubs were super misogynistic and anti women’s rights – so basically that energy did NOT like me while it had no problem with John. It was one of the craziest things I’ve ever experienced. I saged regularly for 2 weeks before I felt myself again.

Oh also, they filmed scenes from Outlander there.

After the castle we walked around the city some more and had a delish pasta dinner before going to the haunted underground vault tour. We read this was one of the most unique things to do and wanted to end our journey with this experience. It was creepy but also amazing to see this bizarre old underground vault, literally UNDERNEATH Edinburgh. Def recommend!!

I love how old the city is. Around every corner there is an awe of Gothic architecture. It literally feels like Hogwarts. It’s actually where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter (we even visited the cafe where she wrote the books). The buildings are so incredibly old and BOLD. It has a VIBE.

Fun things about Edinburgh:

  1. The city is built on top of itself, so there are layers of streets on top of each other – making GPS hard to follow in certain areas.
  2. The people were the nicest folks we have ever met in any country. Very friendly and warm, but not too much into your business, but also willing to get to know you and hear your story. I felt incredibly safe.
  3. It has a vibrant arts scene filled with poets, writers, comedians, artists – it felt amazing to be encompassed in creative energy.
  4. I have a habit of going on ghost tours every time I travel. I can say, hands down, Scotland is the most haunted place I’ve EVER been.
  5. It is our favorite international city we’ve explored, and we would love to live here! Words can’t describe how at home we felt being in Edinburgh. It’s chock full of amazing history, architecture, an expanding arts scene, and visually stunning nature. We didn’t get to make it outside of the city but can’t wait to eventually explore the Highlands and surrounding islands. It’s a breathtaking country that we feel called towards.

We CAN’T WAIT to come back. If there is one place to go in all of Europe, I highly suggest Edinburgh. You won’t be disappointed!

Iceland 2019

I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland and in 2019 for our February birthday week, we made it happen (alongside a stop in Edinburgh, Scotland which will be a 2nd post). Here’s a trip down memory lane for our amazing winter experience close to the arctic!

One thing about traveling in Iceland that I didn’t expect was how much you had to plan everything you wanted to do weeks and months prior. Every excursion, car or bus transfer, even seeing the Blue Lagoon was timed via a ticket by the hour that sold out in advance, so we had to carefully plan each and every days worth of activities, which I normally don’t like to do. (Hello spontaneity!)

We had a non-stop flight from SFO directly to Reykjavik, which arrived early in the morning, and the first thing we did was head straight to the Blue Lagoon. Because of the proximity to the airport, it’s easiest to experience this national treasure either after arriving or before departing. Our arrival was so early and we couldn’t check into our Airbnb for hours, so we opted to do this first and really soak up (no pun intended) the Icelandic experience. We booked this service to take us to the Blue Lagoon from the airport, which also included a drop-off in the city after we were done.

The Blue Lagoon is incredibly accommodating for tourists. There is an area where you can store your luggage (since most folks come before/after the airport) and easily explore the hot springs. These phone case lanyards were very handy keeping our phones dry so that we could still take photos without worry. Our tickets came with a mask and a cocktail (but you could purchase more if you wanted) and the masks are AMAZING! My skin felt so nice I opted for another treatment. I researched beforehand and found that many people experienced very dry and brittle hair for days after getting it wet in the lagoon, so I pulled it up in a bun the entire time which I highly suggest (especially if your hair is colored).

After about 3-4 hours at the Blue Lagoon, we transferred to Reykjavik and enjoyed a very local lunch (including a smoked meat + fish flatbread) before checking into our Airbnb for a tiny nap. It’s hard to acclimate to the time change so we eased our way in by napping, exploring the city a bit and having a beer, followed by getting groceries to cook for a cozy night in and early bedtime. It snowed pretty heavily at this point and carrying our bags across the town square was quite comical.

Tip: eating out in Iceland can be pretty pricey due to the fact that it IS a remote island close to the arctic <lol> – I highly suggest renting an Airbnb purely for the ability to cook some of your meals. The grocery store isn’t actually that expensive, so getting things for breakfast and a dinner was what worked for us. Plus, Airbnbs are actually a lot cheaper than hotels in certain neighborhoods so this makes it a double win. (Here is where we stayed and loved it! This part of downtown was the perfect spot, it was a few blocks away from the bus stops, the church, and included walking distance to good bars and restaurants.)

This is the Hallgrimskirkja, the most famous church in all of Iceland and also the tallest building in the city (and one of the tallest in the country). We paid $6 to take the elevator to the top to take in panoramic views and snap these pics. I highly suggest doing this if you can!

Check out those icicles!

Reykjavik is so quaint and beautiful. I adored the colorful homes and buildings and how they popped against the white snow canvas.

One of the most fun things we were able to experience was the Lava Tunnel, about 41 KM southeast of Reykjavik. Once again, tickets included roundtrip bus fair from downtown and was easily my favorite part of the trip. We saw the most wonderful sunrise with amazing pastel colors, it felt like a dream. Because we were so far north and in early February we had limited daylight. Sunrise actually happened at 10am and sunset around 3:30. For this very reason, and because of the unpredictable weather patterns (not to mention neither John or I are experienced winter drivers) we didn’t rent a car. Most all excursions include transportation from Reykjavik, so we were perfectly happy with this decision. Though we do want to go back in the summer time where we there will be more daylight so that we can rent a car and explore the rest of the countryside.

Upon arrival they gave us crampons for extra grip into the tunnel. We heard excellent folklore tales about the underground trolls and also the history of geology in the region. It was fascinating!

The next day for John’s 30th birthday we had PLANNED a full day at the Golden Circle, complete with 3 waterfall stops and ending with a soak in the Secret Lagoon. However, life had other things in store for us. The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable, especially in the winter, and we faced winds upward of 125 MPH. All excursions were cancelled and all roads outside of town were closed. We even tried looking into renting a car so we could go on our own but, NOPE. There was nothing we could do, and we couldn’t push this to the next day because we were flying to Scotland. I was understandably heartbroken. I think I cried for about 20 minutes and then pulled it together because, hey, we were still in Iceland and there were tons of other amazing things to explore inside town! (Again, why I hate having to plan an itinerary for this very reason! But it is the way it is in Iceland.)

It was John’s birthday afterall and the coldest and windiest day of our whole trip! So how did we start our day? By visiting the Big Lebowski Bar for some White Russians! Yes. There are about a dozen Lebowski bars in the world and one was just down the street. What a great way to turn around the energy!

We then went to the Perlan, Iceland’s natural science and geology museum, and got to explore an ice cave! There are so many geological wonders in Iceland, being able to take in the history was pretty awesome (I took a ton of geology in college and am a bit of a rock nerd). Plus the cafe inside has EPIC views!

It was FREEZING! Have you ever tried walking around in 125 MPH winds?! We found a brewery and restaurant by the water that sounded good for lunch and took the (yes, FREE) bus across town. The local fish fare is delish and you can’t go wrong with any local beers.

While we had lunch we looked up what was around us and saw that the Aurora Reyjkavik (the Northern Lights museum) was within walking distance. We weren’t lucky enough to actually see the real lights during our stay (again, hard to plan seeing the Northern Lights as there are many variables involved), so exploring the history and science behind them was the next best thing!

This is a big surprise, but for dinner we had the best thai food at Krua Thai (honestly the best food we had the whole trip – I know it’s weird because “good Thai food in Iceland?” – YES!!), visited Mikkeller & Friends Brewery, and then ended the night with a famous hotdog from Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. It ended up being the most fun day! Sometimes where life takes you is better than what you plan for ❤ .

This was the end of the first part of our 2019 European journey. The next morning we had delish pastries from Braud, a bakery down the street from us, and flew to Edinburgh for the second portion of our trip. Here are a few takeaways from our time in Iceland:

  1. In order to ensure that you experience most things, you MUST plan in advance.
  2. The caveat is, the weather might turn on you and your plans may change – if you are able to leave a bit of wiggle room in-case this happens, the better.
  3. Also, because of this, try pushing most of your “plans” into the first part of your trip so that if anything happens you can use your extra “non-plan” days as backup.
  4. Most excursions include roundtrip transit, so you don’t NEED a car if you stay in Reykjavik.
  5. Winter weather is unpredictable and you *probably* won’t see the Northern Lights.
  6. It’s a very small country, population wise, and most people tend to stick to themselves. Folks are nice if you ask questions or need directions, but don’t expect to strike it up with strangers in a bar.
  7. Go knowing that you likely won’t be able to do sand see everything you want, but it’s such an incredible place that anything you end up doing will be amazing!
  8. Iceland is AWESOME and I can’t wait to go back!! You will want to go back.

Stay tuned for part two of our 2019 adventure into Edinburgh!

¡Viva México! #tequilastrikesback

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At the end of January a big ole gaggle of girls headed out to Los Barriles, about an hour drive north from San Jose del Cabo, to celebrate our bride to be Kate! I had never officially been to Mexico before, only border towns, and was ready for some girl time in a new place. Kate asked me to be in her wedding last year and we are getting really close to the whole 9 yards! Their wedding is coming up at the end of the month in the mountains of Santa Cruz.

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While I’ve been in all 3 of my sisters weddings growing up (when I was 9, 14, and 23) I haven’t been in a friends wedding and haven’t had that whole adult wedding party experience (my sister’s bachelorette party when I was 23 though…one of the weirdest chain of events I’ve experienced in my family).

But #tequilastrikesback was all about a chill house in the middle of January in Mexico, in a remote town. We danced to silly 80s songs (thank you Whitney and Janet) and had the BEST food prepared for us by the sweetest ladies! When food is made with love, it tastes even better ❤

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Look at them wigs! WIG POWER.

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I live here now…k thanks. DREAM HOUSEEEEE ❤ ❤ ❤

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Coconut chic.

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We rented ATVs and drove down the beach to the closest town, had lunch, and explored a little through some shopping. I was nervous, not gonna lie, about the ATVs toppling over on the sand but luckily that didn’t happen and we all lived happily ever after! PLUS I got the best Michelada of my lyfe!!!

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Some strange Barbie collection that I stumbled upon in a random store in town. Gotta love that Amidala Star Wars doll right in the middle there…. Kate and Josh are obsessed with Star Wars so she opted for the #tequilastrikesback hashtag and coincidentally pointed out that doll out to me. HA!

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Me, in the rear-view mirror, trying to get an artistic shot along the bumpy road.

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And our bride to be, Kate, in her happy place. I had a lovely time and made some new friends with some rad ladies! Butttt I could have done without the Federales stopping our car, searching it with ginormous guns, and taking photos of us unknowingly. Luckily we didn’t have to pay any bribes and safely made it to the airport where we proceeded to have another round of drinks to relax. LOL. #isurvivedmexico2018

Until next international trip!

 

 

 

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 🙂

 

 

February Vibes

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It’s Groundhog’s Day and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow earlier this morning. What a strange tradition we have, waking this little guy up consistently at dawn every February 2nd and have him predict the weather. Why him? WHY NOT A GIRL GROUNDHOG?  6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER?! All that really means for the Bay is more rain, but the next two weeks are completely clear and sunny for us soooo maybe Phil isn’t a genius? I kid I kid…I love that we have this weird annual ordeal (and it IS AN ORDEAL people! Have you ever watched it on TV?! I wanna go!!) and I will also not pass up an opportunity to watch Ground Hog’s Day starring THE BEST comedic actor of our time – Mr. Bill Murray!

Anyways – February is one of my favorite months. I would say it’s a toss up with October, but I love Halloween so much that it usually wins. But the energy in February is where it’s at. January is pretty slow, a time to reflect and start new habits and take it easy from the busy holiday period. January is awesome if you are an introvert, or an introverted extrovert, but February is when people start coming out of their cocoons and you’re like WHO DIS? ❤

Best things about February:

  • Groundhog’s Day, DUH
  • It’s my birth month! And John’s! And my nephews! And my sister’s! And like 100 of my friends and like MILLIONS of other people! (seriously, EVERYONE has birthdays in February and I share my actual birthday with my nephew, and have same birth week as my sis, so I never felt like it was MY BIRTHDAY growing up. That whole, THIS IS MY BIRTH WEEK thing? NOPE. Do y’all have a lot of Febby babies in your lives too or is that just me?)
  • My love-hate relationship for Valentine’s Day! Seriously, I like the idea of Valentine’s Day, but I HATE the marketing around it. And I hated the way Valentine’s Day made me feel when I was single, like I was supposed to be on some cosmic date that SHOULD have been the best night of my lifeeee. But in reality I would go to the movies alone and LOVE every minute of it or I would meet up for dinner with another single gal pal. I also hate the restaurant culture of Valentine’s Day, with the special pre-fix menu BS. They hike up the prices and the wait times are like 1000x longer than normal for a table and it’s so annoying because MARKETING TOLD US TO DO THIS Y’ALL! Buttt at the end of the day, I know I’m lucky for my main squeeze and don’t need Valentine’s Day to remind me of how we should be treating each other. We always opt for making dinner together, usually some sort of pasta dish, and snuggle while watching some crazy movie marathon or something with our cat. Awwww. I will say though, the BEST part of Valentine’s Day are the cute red and pink dresses for sale – I would love to have that year round!
  • My love-love relationship for Galentine’s Day! YAS QUEEN! Celebrate those badass female friendships in your life all while nodding your praise for Parks and Rec – I’m all about that! ❤
  • Black History Month – there are so many awesome documentaries are out there and I am always eager to learn more.
  • President’s Day Weekend – BUILT IN LONG WEEKEND PERFECT FOR A RANDOM TRIP, sign me up!
  • Spring clothes start to come out to all of the stores and the days get longer! (time change is around the corner I can feeeeel it!)

What do you love about February?

 

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! ❤

Alamo Squarin’ Around

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Y’all – I did it! I bought a DSLR. If you read my last post you know that getting a professional camera was a goal of mine that I was adamant about tackling this year. I have been feeling SO MOTIVATED so far this year, I just went ahead and bit the bullet and got a Canon Rebel T6 and I feel so happy about it! At the end of the day, I could keep researching, constantly changing my mind on what the “most perfect camera option would be” or I could just shut up about it and get one that felt right and explore. NO REGRETS! And now I can check off one of my goals 🙂

John and I took it out for our first spin and captured these shots of our beautiful foggy neighborhood…

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One of my favorite things about living in SF are the gorgeous Victorians around every corner. These buildings are over 100+ years old, are painted all sorts of vibrant colors, and are a window to the past when times were very different. While John and I walk around the neighborhoods we play a game called “WHICH ONE?” – and ask the other what their favorite Victorian is on the street that we currently find ourselves on and which one we would pick to live in (get it?!). I never take for granted that Alamo Square park, one of the most photographed parks in the country, is outside my doorstep. I know how very lucky I am to have a rent controlled apartment here in this massively expensive city. It was fun to act as tourists for the afternoon, capturing majestic shots just like this one….

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DANCE FLOOR QUEEN up here in Club Alamo Square Park…

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Mr. Environmentalist & NASA research extraordinaire!

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I LOVE these two houses, they are my favorite alongside the square because of the pink and purple pastel realness. SWOON!

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On lazy Sunday afternoons when the weather is nice, we like to get sandwiches from our favorite cafe a few blocks away and post up in the park for a bit, enjoying the atmosphere and either making some art or reading. I would LOVE to get a cat harness for our beloved #beatrixvonwhiskerton so we could bring her to the park someday, but she’s SUCH a scaredy cat that we worry it won’t go over well….TBD y’all. ❤

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This is the famous Westerfield house. It has it’s own Wikipedia page and they are making a documentary about it. It’s across the street from our house and I STILL need to take a tour.

I have this super cheesy ghost radar app that my sisters and I used that time we ghost hunted in Charleston. While it constantly went off in SC, it didn’t really do anything in my house or street. I was kinda sad that I don’t seem to have any ghosts lurkin’ around that my app picked up (that John could have PROOF of), but perhaps it’s best to have good rest and be thankful that I don’t need an exorcist just yet. <tee hee>

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I hope you enjoyed this window into my neighborhood! More pics and adventures coming your way soon.

xo

New Year New Me

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Welcome to 2018!

I really, REALLY LOVE January y’all. I know, most people think that the month of January equates to Monday within a week because of how slow it usually is. But I disagree. I actually like Mondays (what??) and I freakin’ LOVE January.

I LOVE the energy of the new year. The energy that makes you think about change, goals, what you want to achieve in this lifetime and how you want to be a better person. Personally, I prefer to always think about these things and not just in January, but there is something about the energy of the start of the year that gets me excited. While I hate the idea of creating rigid goals, the ones that set you up for failure, I am very much a fan of progressive goals. These are the longer term goals that aren’t as black and white, but more about making progress (as small as it may be) towards something of value.

For me, the big thing that I am focusing on is how I speak to myself internally. Being an idealist, it’s hard to not get wrapped up in the IDEA of things being perfect. And when they aren’t (because let’s face it, they NEVER are!) I get really down on myself and then I have negative self talk. I am working on letting go of my perfectionism because it isn’t real, but I am a human and I AM REAL, and coming to terms with the fact that I am perfect JUST AS I AM in this moment in time is AMAZING! It will always be a struggle and not just something you can “cross off” a resolution checklist, but being aware step #1.

And now, I present some goals (small and large) that I would like to focus on this year:

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  • Gratitude Journal. I bought the 5 minute journal to help with my thought process, focusing on gratitude and happy things that happened throughout my days rather than thinking of what wasn’t perfect. I have written in the journal every morning and night this week so far, and I LOVE it so much! I wish I started doing this earlier! Many CEOs and Entrepreneurs swear by this journal, as it keeps them motivated and also grounded. SOLD.
  • More me time, less social obligations. This one has been an issue for me for a while now. I tend to be a people-pleaser in the way of giving my time. I want to be a supportive friend, coworker, sister, daughter, etc. and I feel bad for saying no to things if it hurts someones feelings. I tend to carry other’s feelings as my responsibility on my back. And while it’s taken me a long time to come to terms with my patterns and why I do this to myself, one thing I do know is that I need to learn to say no more. 2017 was a lot about everyone else. Work trips. Anniversaries, birthday celebrations. Family things. While most of it was fun, a lot of it was not about me. And I constantly felt burnt out and stretched thin. I barely had time to myself to think, create my own traditions, patterns, habits before sprinting off to the next thing. Being supportive doesn’t mean you have to show up to everything. And how can you be supportive if you aren’t supporting yourself first? I vow to follow my inner voice a bit more and do what feels right for me.
  • Pick up a new hobby. I’ve been saying for YEARS that I want a professional camera. I’ve looked into getting a DSLR over the last year and just decided that I wanted to go mirrorless. 2018 is the year I make my camera love a reality. I already signed up for a Udemy photography class (which you can take without a special camera, even if you just use your iPhone!) and I can’t wait to see what happens.
  • Travel, for ME. I traveled A LOT last year. I went to 7 states and Canada in a year! Like I mentioned above, those trips coincided with work events or family things. I didn’t plan ONE of those out of state trips for myself or John. He tagged along with me to NYC, which was for work, so it wasn’t technically the same. I am planning a vacation this year that has nothing to do with work, family, or friends. I already have some travel planned in early 2018 as a result of a friends wedding (Cabo for the bachelorette party) and my dads 70th (we will celebrate in Nashville) but this is the year that John and I make it to Scandinavia!
  • Write to please the soul. Not only am I journaling more regularly, I plan on being more active with my blog as it helps motivate me with my other goals. AND YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO READ MORE! ❤
  • Attempt more art. This is a no brainer. Watercolor time, here I come!

2018 is already off to a great start and I am feeling more in tune with my inner voice. I can’t wait to share my progress. What are some of your goals?

xo

Emily

 

O-BLOG-ATORY STREET MURALS

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Everyone on Instagram knows that you aren’t a REAL blogger unless you take endless photos of yourself in front of colorful walls – am I right? As we come upon the end of 2017, I leave you with my favorite mural pics throughout this year, my best o-BLOG-otory insta shots that prove that I’m a REAL blogger and definitely NOT self absorbed… 😉

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The Mission district in SF has the best street murals, like this ADULTS ONLY style mag.

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Don’t mind me, I’m just an emoji character come to life!

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A Greg Mike original! AND it matches my gem tattoo ❤

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Slaying away in the East Village, NYC.

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RIP blonde locks. We had some good times! Like these mural photos for photographic evidence that I was once blonde…

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Outside Lands music festival has some of the coolest art installations around.

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Zip it, Houston!

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I ❤ this rainbow LGBT mural so much, it’s one of my favorites in town!

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Isle of the babes, South Carolina…

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Corny for Halloween, over here!

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Le western chat, Austin TX

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Back to black.

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Forever an 80s lady

Goodbye, 2017! It was a weird year. Some good, a lot of bad, but mostly weird. Thank you for the great mural shots. You can leave your path of environmental destruction at the door. Bring on 2018!

xo,

Emily

Forever An 80’s Lady

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I am a true child of the 80s. With 3 older sisters who were becoming teenagers in the late 80s, I have a lot of fond pop-culture influences and memories in my life at an early age. I remember having living room sleepovers with my sisters, staying up all night watching John Hughes movies regularly, with The Breakfast Club on repeat. My 2 Dads, Who’s The Boss, or The Facts of Life, anyone?

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I see you, John Cusack! And I’ve got your $2, right here…

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Can we also talk about how amazing action movies were in the 80s? BADASS action films like Big Trouble in Little China, Red Dawn, and Roadhouse are definitely on rotation in this household.

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Because of my nostalgia for the 80s, I will always be a fan of 80s inspired art, dress, music, and film. I LOVE that shows like Stranger Things are back in style and the fact that I stumbled upon this Rubik’s cube mural in the streets of SF.  I have also been listening to a lot of CCFX lately as well, which is very much influenced by The Cure. Even my Smiths-obsessed brother in law approves!

Emily’s 80s Favorites:

  • John Hughes classics like The Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Ferris Bueller, and Pretty in Pink
  • New Wave bands Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, The Cure
  • Kooky movies such as Overboard, Mannequin, and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
  • Sequins, bright colored patterns, pointy toe pumps, and gaudy earrings
  • PATRICK SWAYZE ANYTHING! THE BRAT PACK!
  • Camping movies and TV shows that made camping (or summer camp) look SO cool and fun, like Meatballs, The Great Outdoors, and Summer Rental
  • Other classics such as Adventures in Babysitting, Summer School, The Goonies, Heathers, Back to the Future, Footloose, The Thing, Beetlejuice, AND MANY MOARRRR!

Man, do I love the 80s ❤