Greetings From Seattle

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Back in August I made a trip to Seattle for a work conference and stayed just under a week. While I briefly went to Seattle TEN YEARS AGO for an Alaskan family cruise (celebrating my parents 40th anniversary) I barely remembered anything about the city and was pretty pumped that I was going back. Let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the city!

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The vibe actually reminded me a lot of San Francisco, but with some Austin/Portland vibes mixed in as well. The downtown area is bigger than SF and perhaps just as busy and with the same problems around homelessness (it’s gotten pretty bad over the last several years on the west coast). But the weather was to die for! It felt so much like home (Texas) but without the triple digit temps. #icantdeal Walking around at night in a sundress without needing a sweater or jacket was EVERYTHING.

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I stayed at a pretty basic Hilton hotel a few blocks away from the conference center, which wasn’t too far at all from the Public Market. I went there multiple times to people watch, window shop, and ate THEE MOST delish piroshsky on earth.

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Some coworkers and I also hit up The Nest for a bougie industry happy hour and the views did NOT disappoint! WOW! Seattle gets a lot of rain in general, but it was just beautiful in the summer, I was thankful I had a pretty clear stay.

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A REALLY fun thing to do is visit the Museum of Pop Culture. I had no idea that a concept museum like this existed and was super excited that we chose to do this as a team building activity. There were some badass exhibits, including one about David Bowie, Jim Henson & THE MUPPETS, a sci-fi wing (complete with the actual costumes from Battlestar Gallactica, The 5th Element, Terminator and more!!) a fantasy wing (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc), a GAMING exhibit (WHAT?!) and of course a whole rock-n-roll hall (with some Kurt Cobain memorabilia). It was AMAZING! I want more! Def don’t pass this up if you plan on going to Seattle, it was my #1 favorite thing I got to do!

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I loved Kermit when I was a kid. I obsessed over his relationship with Miss Piggy so hard.

Next to the pop culture museum is the Chihuly Gardens & Glass exhibit. I was SO EXCITED to check this out in the real life and it was one of the most incredible art exhibits I’ve ever seen. Just wow.

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PS) Look how cute my team is on top of the Space Needle!

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We threw a big party in the Seattle Aquarium the last night of the conference, which was the last touristy thing I did during my stay. I know work is work, but the gaming conferences in our industry can throw some pretty cool events! That said, the Seattle Aquarium doesn’t even hold a candle to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I’m a bit spoiled since John’s family is from Monterey, so we visit the aquarium occasionally. But it was still a great party and a cool event space!

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The best places I ate and drank:

Lola  – great Mediterranean spot for sharing plates family style.

Shorty’s – arcade themed dive bar in Belltown, full of weird clown references and pinball tables. Great vibe.

Assaggio Restaurant – old world rustic Italian goodness!!

Sweet Iron – I had savory breakfast waffles that were to die for. Prosciutto, scallion, and creme fraiche on a cinnamon toasted waffle. WHAT?!

Anchovies & Olives – had a fantastic solo happy hour, complete with a glass of rose, a few oysters, a side of greens, and an appetizer sized pasta plate ALL for $37. WUT?

Unicorn Bar – this place is famous! Super quirky, bright decor, strange and fun drinks. They even have their own unicorn beer, complete with a horn draft tap. I liked it so much that I bought a t-shirt.

The Whale Wins – rustic farm to table food of the Pacific Northwest. We had our team dinner there before our party and thoroughly enjoyed everything.

Outlier – great spot downtown for clients. Fresh food, fun ambiance, tons of space with a fun cocktail menu. And it wasn’t very pricey. All around great spot!

Umi Sake House – best salmon sashimi I’ve ever had in MY LIFE.

The Runaway Bar – this bar was my place. I found it while vintage shopping at Rove and fell in love. I went in for a drink and stayed for two. If I lived in Seattle, this area would be my neighborhood and I would frequent this bar. Also Rove – had the BEST unique card selection. I bought my sister a card with a painting of Robert Smith (lead singer of The Cure) with the words “I will always love you” across the front. I laughed so hard, I knew she would be the only person who would appreciate it, so I got it for her as a pseudo birthday card. Ha ha ha.

The one place I didn’t get to check out, but NEED TO next time:

Il Corvo Pasta – My boss suggested this because I love pasta so much. They are only open during lunch and don’t take reservations. I walked over to check it out but the line was out the door to wait, so I didn’t have time to eat there. But man o man this place has raving reviews on Yelp and I am bummed I didn’t get to make my Seattle pasta dreams come true.

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I had a great time and would happily return to explore more of the outer areas and hike. Until next time, Seattle!

xo

Emily

A Hidden Gem Within The Santa Cruz Mountains

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Until next time!

Dat Big Apple

Hello again, world! I have been so lame with blogging the last several months…my bad! I really have been meaning to post but have been unusually busy – so much so that this post has sat in my drafts for months! EEeeeee!

With that said, who is down to read about John and I’s NYC trip from 4 months ago?! Saddle up…

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I have been to NYC about 8 times in the last decade, mostly for work. My first job in SF was for an agency that was based out of NYC that handled Broadway musicals, and I had the Wicked account. That office was in the same building where TRL was filmed for MTV back in the 90’s/early 00’s! I have definitely had my fair share of the NYC tourist experience, although not for a long time. John had never been to NYC or the East Coast, so when my boss suggested that I visit again for some clients, we decided to make a jam-packed trip out of it.

I told John that I knew the best rooftop bar with super secret, private views. He was all about it! Andddd that’s how I tricked him into visiting the Empire State Building <cry laugh emoji>.

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❤ viva l’empire state building!

Later that night we spent a whopping $5 for tickets to COLIN QUINN at the Comedy Cellar! Anyone who knows me knows that I always wanted to be on SNL, so when the opportunity to see an SNL alumni and comedy legend struck, for ONLY $5, I crossed my t’s and dotted the i immediately. HE WAS SO FUNNY! At the end of the show we got a picture together and I drunkenly told him he was hot?? NO CLUE where that came from, because I have never once thought of CQ as “hot” per se, but I was so star struck it was like the first thing that came out of my mouth….and once I realized what I said, it became the last thing out of my mouth. #stillfunnytho

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We also had a blast hanging out in the East Village, going to art galleries, shopping at quirky boutiques, checking out happy hours at various bars, and also THE FOOD. I can finally say I’ve made it to Veselka! And as a lady of Eastern European descent, I can proudly say that I approve.

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Then we did more basic AF things, like strolling through Central Park and checking out the Googenheim, which surprisingly I had never seen prior!

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Kandinsky – my FAV! ❤

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Luckily we had amazing weather on our trip so we were able to check out many rooftop bars. My favorites were The Roof NY (much more bougie) and Roof at Park South (more relaxed and down to earth). NOTE: Not all rooftop bars have “roof” in the title…not to confuse you but these two are both great in completely different ways!

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Me, standing by the ledge trying not to look down.

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We loved the Roof at Park South SO MUCH! Located in a great spot in the East Village. The East Village might be our favorite neighborhood in Manhattan.

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Getting around NYC is so quick and mostly easy (WAY more efficient than getting around SF!) – we made it to 4 of the 5 Burroughs in a few days.  YES, we went to a BOMB DOT COM Mediterranean restaurant in QUEENS, called Taverna Kyclades and sat right next to skinny JONAH HILL!!! We also made it a Yankees game in the Bronx, as we found $10 tickets against the Oakland A’s (which was kinda like second to seeing The Giants play since they are from the same bay I GUESS). Now all we have left to see is Staten Island…(and I’m pretty sure John is set on that)!

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John outside of our home away from home.

Because I had some work to do we stayed in Manhattan the first two nights, and opted to get an Airbnb through the weekend in my favorite neighborhood in Brooklyn, Park Slope. I love the fun vibe because it’s a perfect mix of exciting bars, restaurants, and boutiques spread throughout a chill neighborhood that doesn’t get too touristy. And I’m so happy John LOVED it too. ❤

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NYC had a lot of firsts for John, but one for me as well. I had never walked the famous Brooklyn Bridge, and it was a cute NEW thing for us to do together. It wasn’t too far of a trek from where we stayed and we managed to squeeze it in on our last day, before we made it to the airport where our flight was delayed 3 hours. FUN TIMES!

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We packed a lot in and had a blast! John can’t wait to head back to the East Coast and hit up that Staten Island ferry, I tell you what…LMAO. Until next time, NYC! And I’ll also do a better job of not waiting so long to document my travels! xo ❤

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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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Team Palm Springs

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

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

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

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I practically lived in this pool all weekend.

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

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The only picture of all 11 ladies!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bodega Bay With My Bae

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In case you didn’t know, Alfred Hitchcock filmed The Birds in Bodega Bay, which is about an hour and a half drive north of the city. We recently re-watched The Birds and since we had an amazing change of weather, decided to make a day trip just to see if could spot any of those crazy birds…

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While this movie makes no sense to me (the relationship storyline at least, not the bird plot. That makes the most sense of all! What woman meets a man and instantly takes a trip hours away to secretly drop off birds in his house while he is gone?! SOMEONE PSYCHO…) it was still fun to watch and hang around Bodega Bay and find where certain scenes were filmed. We ate at The Tides restaurant which has a scene in the movie too, and the food wasn’t the best and was super touristy, but now I can say that I ate there so I don’t ever have to again… <laugh crying>

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The California coast truly is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, so the fact that we were able to hike the Kortum Trail right off the coastline was a breathtaking experience.

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We easily made our way down to Shell Beach, where ironically there were no shells, just a bunch of rocks but still really chill.

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We hiked about 4 miles total with the loop, and ended up on top of the hill which was super steep but worth it. Driving around the Bay Area will always be something that brings me joy, everything about this part of the world is absolutely beautiful inside and out, from the diverse and open minded people, to the coastal views, to the vineyards, and everything in-between, (northern) Cali is where it’s at. ❤ ❤ ❤

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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!

El Corte de Madera Creek Preserve

A few weeks ago, John and I pleased our inner trail bunnies by hiking the El Corte de Madera Creek Preserve trail in the South Bay. We had a VERY long San Francisco wet winter (yay we are FINALLY out of the drought!) so it felt amazing to have gorgeous weather and be outside in nature. With how busy things were for us in February on top of my crazy work schedule, we decided to hike this spot and relax right before I made my way to Vegas.

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The trail was a 6.2 mile loop in the very removed forest. For a long time we were the only people and I wondered if some creepo would pop out of the woods to abduct us into their underground lair, but I’m a weirdo who has seen too many creepy things… #dontabductme

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I never hiked much in Texas because of the damn heat and the fact that I sweat profusely. But ever since I’ve moved to California, hiking has really become one of my favorite things to do on the weekend. It’s just so gorgeous along the coast! I can’t get over it and am always telling myself how lucky I am to live here.

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This tree was pushed over, at the roots, due to a crazy storm we had the weekend before! WHAT THE HELL KIND OF STORM DOES THIS TO A REDWOOD?!

Apparently a plane crashed in the middle of this forest way back in the 50’s, so there is a memorial at the top of the view point. I was hoping to see any sort of debris but it just didn’t exist anymore. I would totally come back and hike this trail again, as it was a nice remote spot and there was THEE CUTEST little mountain tavern a couple miles down the road. We had a celebratory drink there after we ended our journey.

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GET OUTSIDE PEOPLE AND ENJOY NATURE!

The End.

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!)

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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

Slaying The Day Away

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It’s no secret that I LOVE MAC AND CHEESE! Any time I see it on a menu I have to get it, whether it’s an app for the table or my meal. I can’t help it, mac and cheese is just SO DAMN GOOD! So when I heard about a new mac and cheese place in SF called Mac Daddy, I was all about it!

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Another thing to note about me is that I also love corn on the cob (hellooooo, I lived part of my childhood in Ohio and we had a corn field in our backyard!). Mac Daddy not only has the most unique mac and cheese, but they also have street corn as a side that I devoured.

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A nice day outside + mac and cheese = pure heaven. What are you obsessed with?

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