I think I say it almost every other day... I would love to have a pet! But that's not gonna happen for at least a couple years, so I'll have to settle for borrowing friends' pets or petting random dogs on the street or visiting shelters. That last one is my favorite. And my favorite shelter is Pets Lifeline in Sonoma. Every time we visit my Nan we have to make a stop :) You can go and sit in a room of kittens, and I know they love the attention. Make a stop on your next trip to the wine country.
If you know me at all, you know I love the 4th of July. It's seriously like Christmas in the middle of summer. My family always celebrated the 4th growing up (sometimes with both sides of my family!) and we continue to use this holiday as a day to get together and have fun. Luckily everyone's schedule worked out and I met my immediate in Sonoma where my grandma and extended family are. Greg came along too!
The 4th of July starts with a parade and festival in the town square. My Nan made an amazing lunch, and we hung out in her backyard all afternoon, chatting, dipping our feet into a kiddie pool, and making amazing memories. I am so lucky that we got to spend such a special day together :)
Life has been nothing but stressful, hectic and exhausting lately, a never-ending parade of craziness and demands. My boyfriend and I recently took a break from life and pretended to be tourists in SF. As cheesy as it was, we had a blast re-exploring Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39! I normally avoid the tourist magnets of the city, but it felt so freeing in its silliness. We rode the Rocket Boat (totally worth it!), perused the shops, and giggled when someone asked us where we were from. After dinner on the wharf, we capped off the night with drinks at my new favorite spot, McCormick and Kuleto's. The view was beautiful as the sun went down, and we tried blueberry mojitos and cucumber gin margaritas. Can't wait to go back for happy hour!
I can't say I'm the biggest ra-ra protester/stand-upper on this planet. But I do believe that you don't have to be gay (or anything else, for that matter!) to support your friends that identify as such. Hate has no room in my life. I was SO excited to participate in my second Pride weekend in San Francisco. I was lucky enough to run into my sister and hang out with some of my favorite people.
I am so incredibly proud to be part of this city. Everyone was in their element today, and what might be considered extraordinary was the norm today. The colors, the glitter, the smiles; it was all too perfect.
San Francisco, despite what our crazy taxi driver might have said, you are the best city I've ever met.
And I can't change, Even if I tried, Even if I wanted to, And I can't change, Even if I try, Even if I wanted to, My love My love My love She keeps me warm
My sweet baby sister turned 18 today! I cannot wait to celebrate when I see her for the 4th of July. She has grown into quite a lady, and I couldn't be prouder of all she has accomplished. Brigi just graduated from high school, capped off an amazing softball career, and is headed to Cal Poly in the fall. I'm such a lucky big sis.
A few stragglers from the wrap-up of Greg's birthday are below. Before he got to work, I hung a sign at his desk and left balloons. The sign was by far the cheesiest thing I had ever made in my whole life. I can't quite put my finger on where I first saw it, but I remember them from childhood (no idea where) and found more inspiration on Pinterest. Duh.
That night, we celebrated at my new favorite Italian place in San Francisco. Allegro Romano is tucked into a corner of Nob Hill. The service is ridiculously friendly (but not pushy, at all!) and the food is some of the best Italian food I've ever had in my life. It was perfect, and I think Greg thought it was perfect too. I could have died when they brought him dessert with candles. I was so lucky to celebrate a second birthday of his with a special day.
This weekend, I joined a group of friends and we headed to the Alameda County Fair. I haven't been to a fair since I was growing up in Fresno, so this was an unexpected treat. My favorite part (and no surprise to anyone that knows me) was the petting zoo! I could have spent all day with the goats, potbelly pigs, llamas and deer. There were even wallabies, although we came to the conclusion that these guys were not happy in the petting zoo.
We saw so many animals (for sale, not in the petting zoo), including about a million bunny rabbits and little ducklings. The fair food was a delicious, and I had a corn dog and tried fried twinkies and oreos. A once in a lifetime treat; I could practically feel my arteries harden ha.
There were pig races, and I almost died when I got picked to help facilitate. Highlight of my week, hands down! Needless to say, we all passed out on the way home. Sunshine and a beer will do that.
I was lucky enough to enjoy a visit from my family this weekend. My mom, dad and baby sister drove up from Central California, and my middle sis made the trek all the way from Oakland ;)
On Saturday, we enjoyed a picnic in Dolores Park in the Mission. It's so fun to see my parent's reaction to different parts of the city, and they loved the park. After the sun came out, it was perfectly warm too. We shopped and checked out all the amazing street art the Mission has to offer, and ended the evening back in the Marina-area. Dinner at my new favorite Tacko place was a great end to a lovely day, and my sisters and I took a late night walk to Lombard Street. My youngest sister just gradudated from high school, and it's incredible to see how much she's grown into an amazing young woman.
Sunday started with brunch at Rose's Cafe, followed by more sightseeing and shopping in the Marina. My boyfriend joined us too! It's hard to explain how complete and happy I get when my whole family is together. And knowing it'll be even harder for us to get together once my sister going to college makes it even more special.
After a fun night celebrating Greg's birthday, we headed up to Sonoma for a wine tasting trip. His roommate had a friend visiting from the East coast, so Greg's roomie organized a limo to take us North. Our limo stopped at three wineries, including a winery located in a cave. It was chilly but magical! Such a nice way to relax after a busy week and a late night :)
It's been a fun week celebrating my man's birthday. On Saturday night, I threw a party for him and invited a bunch of our friends. We called it a Pastel Polo Pizza Party! Greg is know for his collection of, you guessed it, pastel polos, and he loves pizza; so silly and so perfect.
I think I might be more sad than he is that it's over. It was a great excuse to make him feel even more special, and have lots of fun with friends and spend quality time with each other.
Happy birthday Greg!
We kept it easy with junk food we try not to eat - candy, pizza and chips n' dip.
Each guest could pick a button with a Greg pic to wear. It was so fun wearing these out to a bar afterwards!
I'm trying to make my man's birthday extra special without being too over the top. I thought it'd be hilarious to make election-style buttons filled with pictures of him growing up. His friends will love it (and can take them home if they wish!) and I think my man will get a giggle looking at pictures of his littler self.
My mom might even do this for my baby sister's graduation party... such an easy, adorable craft!
I was soooo lucky to be invited to a family reunion of sorts with my boyfriend's family over Memorial Day weekend in Arizona. It was an absolute blast! I was treated to four non-stop days of fun, eating and quality time with my bf. Considering his immediate family lives at least a plane flight away, it was great getting to know his family better too. His parents and sister flew in from Boston, and we were hosted by his other sister, her hubby and their baby (they just moved to AZ). I've met his family before, but this was the first time I got to meet his nephew, one of the most beautiful babies I have ever laid my eyes on.
It was only between 80-100 degrees over the weekend, perfect for swimming and quick trips to sightsee. Here's a few pictures, if you'd like!
Lots of playtime.
Being cheesy, matching tourists. Accidental? Not really ;)
Yummy pizza. Topped with pistachios! We had to hit the gym hard after this trip.
I've been using my twin-sized bed from my room back home ever since I moved to Northern California. I was so excited to finally purchase a queen-sized bed and mattress, and even more excited when my mom said she'd help me make it extra special for my birthday present. I bought the comforter from Overstock.com (amazing selection!) and she had a friend make pillows. They are top-notch quality and will last for years, and the detailing is unbelievable. A few fuzzy shams completed the look.
I strung twine across the top of the bed and hung pictures with little clothespins. No words to explain how much I love twine ;) I found the letters at Michael's and thought they complimented the bedding perfectly.
I can't wait for the day that I have a bigger apartment so I can extend the decorating to other parts of my living space. I had a blast brainstorming ideas with my mom, and love coming home to a relaxing, inviting space. I find myself rearranging pictures and adding teeny little touches just to keep the decorating going.
I'll post pictures of the rest of my room later... for now, enjoy!
Snapshot of the bed and pillows. Those big, white pillows are so comfy!
Close-up of the pillows and my twine creation. That little pillow says 'sole searching.'
Cozy blankets. Perfect for working in bed!
These prints are on the wall near the foot of my bed. I love waking up to inspiration!
The amount that my heart loves holidays knows no bounds. When I had my own teeny apartment, I decorated for everything! It's not as easy to decorate in my SF apartment, but it's definitely easier to celebrate holidays in the street ;) Bay to Breakers is my favorite SF holiday. Sure, there's a real race, but the best part is all the fun seekers that "run" the course afterwards. Crazy costumes, nakey folks and lots of shenanigans to be had.
The boy, his friends and I dressed up as bananas. There was a lot of silliness when we encountered Mario characters, and more banana jokes than I ever thought possible. We had a blast!
5/19/13. My banana man.
5/19/13. Some of our group and some banana strangers.
My mom and dad came all the way up to the Bay to celebrate Mother's Day. Since my middle sister has been so busy in school, she hasn't had a chance to go home very often this year. So lucky that my parents made the treck so we could hang out in Walnut Creek. Baby sister one weekend, middle sissy the next - how lucky am I?
We were also celebrating my sister's amazing job this summer. She needed business casual clothes, and we lucked out at J. Crew. Sissy and I even got matching blazers ;)
When I headed back to SF on BART, I had a plate of cupcakes on my lap. So funny how many people asked me for one... jokingly of course!
Sometimes after a lovely night filled with nostalgia and bliss, it's hard to say good bye. Thank goodness for lots of little bars in the Marina area of SF. I think I (almost) had more fun taking pictures of our drinks on the mirrored tabletops than drinking the gimlet itself!
Remember the adorable macaroons I was treated to on my birthday? I cut out a slice of the box and framed it. My room is teal and lime green, so it matches perfectly. I couldn't get a good piece that included the address, but I've tucked that away. Love me some easy crafts ;)
My man and I have been dating for a year, officially! I was talking to a friend about how quickly the year went by, and I think it's because we've had so much fun and been so busy. We crammed in so much. We went on trips to Ann Arbor, Boston, Los Angeles, a few to Fresno and multiple to the wine country. We've gone to concerts, tried dozens of new restaurants, both gotten new jobs and spent birthdays together. It hasn't always been easy (boy, being a 20-something is hard sometimes!), but it's been an amazing year of growth, learning, patience and lots of cheesiness.
Thanks for an amazing year babe! Grateful that the one day I worked from home you still got me flowers. The delivery guy scared the bejeezus outta me, but sooooo pretty.