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 ❤

Bonjour Montréal!

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This year has been a pretty busy time for me with travel, especially work travel. Luckily I had the chance to attend a gaming conference in Montreal last week, during their FIRST BLIZZARD OF THE YEAR! Wooo! Even though I’m from Texas, most people don’t realize that I was actually born IN A BLIZZARD in Germany (or at the time, West-Germany as the Berlin wall was still intact) and I also spent about 4.5 years growing up in Ohio. I have had my fair share of experience with cold weather and snow, and I love it. My body temperature naturally runs hot, so hot temps are pretty miserable for me. (HOW DID I EVER LIVE IN TEXAS?! I have no idea…I am a furnace that profusely sweats. But moving on to more attractive things…like Montreal!)

I actually made it to town a night early to meet up with my good ole concert buddy, Jordan, who lives close to the border in Vermont. We hung out in the trendy Mile-End neighborhood (which also happens to be one of the coolest places to live in the world, who knew?!) and caught up, ate delish food, and karaoked at a really cool LGBT dive bar! #karaokequeen

IMG_9043.jpgIf this isn’t a poster for a guaranteed good time, I don’t know what is!

I started the week off by brainstorming with coworkers in a quaint and super cozy cafe with the best tomato soup I’ve ever had. #getinmybelly

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While I did have meetings, client dinners, and events to attend, I was able to have a good amount of solo time to walk around the city and explore on my own. Old Port of Montreal stole my heart – it might be the most charming city in North America! AND THE FREEEEENCH! I oddly took French in high school (yes I know everyone else took Spanish but I was the different, alternative, quirky girl – OKAY?!!) and conveniently forgot everything (I DO remember how to ask to get to the bathrooms though, and that’s a very important ask!).

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Late night poutine at La Banquise was everything. We opted for the traditional poutine PLUS bacon. It was heaven. THE END.

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LOOK AT THIS CRAZY SNOW! It happened within 12 hours and what was once an easy walk around the corner to the conference center became snow ridden.

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Inside the conference center was amazingly beautiful and WARM.

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Snow selfie

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The last night in Montreal I actually had time to get dinner alone and explore a bit before the big end of conference party, and I was SO happy for some solo adventures!

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This restaurant was where Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities back in 1842. They also happened to have bomb dot com spaghetti, which is one of my favorite foods, and just what I needed to combat this cold weather. SO cozy!

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I mean LOOK AT THIS PIC! It does a great job of capturing the cozy winter wonderland that I found myself in.

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I randomly stumbled into this underground speakeasy called The Coldroom while I was in Old Montreal. I found it on Yelp and saw it had 5 STARS, so I thought, why not? It took me a minute to realize that this was no regular bar but indeed an underground speakeasy that required me to ring the doorbell of the CORRECT door and wait for someone to let me in. I waited 5 minutes in the snow in an alley wondering if this was a good idea. Long story short, it was THE BEST idea I had all week. After descending down a few flights of stairs underground (and yes, again wondering if this was a good idea, me being led down a dark stairwell underground as a female alone in a “foreign country” but trusted my gut that it would be worth it) – I finally stepped into one of the most magical bars I’ve ever seen. Total privacy. Everyone was local and spoke French. Unique cocktails – it was perfect! I opted for a beet cocktail conveniently called “Beauty and the Beets” 🙂 which sounds weird but was insanely good. Before leaving, the bartender told me to check out the Christmas pop up bar in the hotel across the street, which you can’t find anything about online. Soooo, I had to ya know?

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This is the view from the top of the Hotel William Grey at the Miracle Bar Christmas pop-up. It was fully decked out in Christmas decor and everyone who worked there wore ugly sweaters. From this table you can see the Ferris wheel in the port. It was a lovely surprise and I’m happy it worked out that I could visit.

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After my solo jaunt, I headed to our close out event with clients. It was held in a co-op work space, so not really like a bar or event venue. It was a crazy time, and a group of us headed out to karaoke after in a tiny bar back over in the Mile-End. I think I sang like 10 songs but who is counting… ❤ #foreverkaroake

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All in all my first time to Montreal was a complete success! I wish I had more time to explore, but I need to come back with John. Apparently they have a really cool biodome and also they have IglooFest in the winter, which is basically a crazy EDM festival in the snow (GOOGLE IMAGE IT – IT’S NUTS). But I really want to come back in the summer when we can do more things outdoors, like hike or kayak or ride bikes.

Sweet Montreal, a slice of Europe in North America.

Au Revoir~

Emily

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. ❤

 

 

Tune Talk: Disco Delight

How has it been that I’ve had this blog for over a year and haven’t posted yet about tunes? I as a DJ have failed you! I LOVED making mix tapes for my friends and boyfriends when I was in middle and high school. Waiting for the exact moment to press play at the start of the song on the radio was exhilarating.  It took anywhere from 3-6 hours of listening to the radio to create one tape. Ahhh sweet satisfaction.

After Napster boomed and iTunes came about, it was easy (AND legal…AHEM) to download songs, create playlists, and burn CDs. I did this religiously. Making personalized CDs was my jam and if you got one you were hella important to me. ❤ I always wanted to work on soundtracking for films, but that’s a job usually reserved for   THEE director, and one doesn’t really get a job working on soundtracks unless you are a musician and composer and compile your own score. It’s no wonder that I became a DJ so that I could explore songs and share them with people for their own enjoyment.

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ENTER DISCO. Ahhhh the glamorous life of Disco. I love it all. The glitz. The lights. The vibe. How it’s ALL INCLUSIVE – any sexual orientation, race, or gender can enjoy it (though it was mocked largely by white cis-gendered males who loved rock n roll and felt threatened by their own homophobia, but THAT will be for a later post). I never knew how much I needed or loved disco, until I came to San Francisco. THERE ARE SO MANY JAMZ I don’t even know where to begin. But if you follow me on Spotify, you can explore my Disco Delight playlist below.

Get lost in disco, envision yourself on the dancefloor with the lights, the people, the energy of the tunes! Ahhhh. Speaking of disco parties, Go Bang! is San Francisco’s BEST disco party, and tomorrow is the 9th anniversary! My bud and Bedazzler better half, Sergio, taught me how to mix and I’ve DJed Go Bang many times in the past. What a wonderful celebration that this party has been around just shy of a decade. WOW! That’s impressive. He throws it with legendary disco DJ, Steve Fabus, who has been behind the decks since the 70’s in Chicago, NYC, and SF, and their good friend Prince Wolf. The people who attend this party are amazing, the music literally RULES, and it feels like a time capsule – transporting you back in time to another dimension where love is love is love and everyone is equal on the dance floor.

Can I just also say that disco fashion is AMAZING and always plays an influence with my wardrobe – velvet, glitter, gold, SEQUINS! Need I say more?!

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More talk of tunes will be had in the future, xo.

 

Austintacious

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Austin is hands down my favorite part of Texas. I cherish the time in my life when I went to UT and lived in Austin, I never thought I would leave. I felt very connected to the city because of the unique culture and being the LIVE MUSIC CAPITAL of the country! Being part of the music scene shaped my individuality and made me more confident in myself and how I expressed myself to the outside world. Austin truly is a special place, and while I don’t always get to visit when I am back in Texas as my family resides in Katy/Houston, the times where I get to experience ATX brings me right back to my happy place. 🙂

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We decided to surprise my parents for Thanksgiving this year because they have been through so much with Hurricane Harvey (you can read more about it on my sister’s blog as she documents the process of them rebuilding their home). But before we made our way to Katy, we wanted a night of debauchery all to ourselves in my old stomping ground!

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We stayed off of Town Lake, close to Rainey Street where all the old Victorian homes are converted into bars. It wasn’t John’s first time to Austin, but he loved it more than the previous visit due to the fact that we had moderate temperatures rather than triple digit heat. We had a lovely stroll around Town Lake, made our way to Congress for some delish BBQ, and bar hopped from Dirty 6th over to the East side.

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Dirty 6th is where I used to go out back in my early college days. They call it Dirty 6th because it’s like a smaller version of Bourbon street and can get pretty wild on the weekends full of underage drinkers with fake IDs who can’t handle alcohol, various  bachelorette and bachelor parties from all over, blended in with college students and tourists. It’s a mix of people with cheap drinks and shots with not a lot of rules (i.e. it’s not uncommon to see people casually vomiting and having sex in parking lots. TRUE STORY I SAW THIS ONCE). FUN TIMES! hahahahaha. This is why you have to hangout when it’s not crowded, i.e. during the middle of a Tuesday before a holiday when all of the students are gone.

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Me, chillin’ on the rooftop of one of my favorite spots when I was 21, Maggie Mae’s.

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This might be the cutest dive bar sign I’ve ever seen!

I love vintage inspired neon signs SO MUCH. Since I’ve moved away Austin has definitely stepped up their neon sign game, it’s almost as strong as Portland – which is the King of neon signs. This bar was kinda weird but had a cute sign so I’ll give them that 🙂

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We always walk pretty much everywhere when we are on vacation. We enjoy exploring neighborhoods, stopping for a drink or two along the way, and exploring things you might miss out on if you just took a car. People also don’t walk in Texas so we def got a lot of looks – but I NEED TO HIT MY STEPS, dammit!

Shangri-La is my favorite bar and I HAVE to go every time I’m in the city. I love the hodgepodge of furniture, beautiful light fixtures, and quirky patio and vibe (I swear I would live on the East side if I was still there). I will never get over how cheap it is to drink in Austin compared to SF – let’s just say happy hour in Austin is around $3-4 a drink while in SF it can be $5-7 ($7 for HH WTF?!). Also – NEVER FORGET to photodocument your memories when a photo booth pops up.

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Later on in the night we met up with my niece (who is pre-med at St. Edward’s) and had a BOMB DOT COM Mexican feast at El Borrego. I normally frequent Polvo’s when I’m in town, but the wait was just insane and I honestly think the food at ELB was better (while the ambiance at Polvo’s is nicer, so depending on what you are going for it’s a toss up).

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After dinner we made our way to Rainey street for some delicious local beers and donuts, before calling it a night. We opted for breakfast tacos from Juan in a Million in the morning prior to our journey to Houston, which was so effing delish OMGEEE. I always talk up breakfast tacos so much to John, and as a California dude he has never understood the hype, always preferring burritos. This time he ate his words (literally) and agreed that breakfast tacos are where it’s at, and we need them STAT in SF (howww do we not already?!).

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You’re Juan in a millionnnnnnnn! (I always hear that song from Miss Congeniality when I see this sign).

Austin, it was a blast like always! I will always love you, my first love ❤ but there was a Thanksgiving feast waiting for us in Houston so we had to say goodbye. Don’t hate us, k??

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