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Recently Enjoyed Things (+ Links)

Monday, March 23, 2015

spring skiing at Kirkwood

apr├Ęs-ski with friends

bluebird day

a pup and her new puppy friend

the absolute best sushi I've come across in California so far


gazing into the distance with a lovely friend

Dexter the pup!

a funny view of something left behind...

chaperoning a 6th grade field trip to Pinnacles

a little bit of yoga with friends

celebrating 30 years with bubbly

a friends' shadow on blue, blue water


And a few things from around the interwebs....


Everything about this cozy date night is lovely. 

I'm officially obsessed with Everlane (and if you join on my referral link there, I'm obsessed with you too!). 

Feeling goal oriented this week? Check out these positive affirmations for goal getters

Are you guilty of any of these online habits that cause overspending? I sure am...

I admit that when I'm overwhelmed, my one-on-one meetings are the first to go. This article has convinced me that's not the answer! 

Need to learn a quick new talent for your next cocktail party? Look no further

This post is just pouring over with SPRING. 

Gorgeous roundup of essentials for the chicest at-home bar. 

Showdown: Cali vs. New England

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

So. It's officially been two years (+ some) since Jimbo and I trekked across the country to move to California! I can't believe it's been that long, but at the same time I can't believe it hasn't been longer. So much has happened. And it has been so, freaking, awesome.

There are times when I can't imagine living anywhere else but here, but there are also times when I miss New England terribly. If you can believe it, the recent New England snowmageddon has made me miss home almost as much as it's made me grateful for this 70 degree California weather :). The two places are just so vastly different, that it's hard to compare! But...it's kind of fun to try. So I've slowly but surely been compiling a mental list of the things I like best about each of these "homes" of mine....Here's my New England vs. Cali showdown!




New England

Better Drivers

Somehow I was led to believe that we "Massholes" are terrible drivers. I have an inkling now that it has more to do with our tendency for road rage and honking (which I think people might just do for fun) than with our actual skills. Out here, Californians lollygag around the road, literally going as low as 45 on the highway. And don't even get me started on how folks out here drive when it rains. We New Englanders know how to get to where we're going!


Memorial Day / 4th of July / Patriots' Day

They're just better back East. We have these patriotic holidays on lock down! I think it's something to do with our plentiful East Coast history, plus the fact that by that time of year people are so ridiculously grateful for the sunny weather - you can't help but be in a jolly good mood. And Patriots' Day (aka Marathon Monday)? Um hello. Yes please and thank you for an extra holiday! The Boston Marathon, a home game, lots of sunshine and sometimes my birthday fall on this special holiday each year, making it one of my faves. And Massachusetts is one of the very few special states smart enough to celebrate it.


Snow Snow Snow (and seasons in general)

Like I said, I'm kinda jealous that I missed the snowmageddon! Snow does not bother me. Yes it helps that I'm a skier. And sure, sure it get's a bit old when it turns into gray slush or when you're digging your car out for the 3rd (or 100th) day in a row, but it's worth it. Skiing, sledding, snow forts, and best of all...snow days. Snuggling with hot chocolate and movies and skipping work is my kind of marvelous. And I won't even go into it because it's so obvious but...having four beautiful seasons is pretty darn important :).


Loyalty and Traditions

This one I find a bit harder to explain, but in general I've noticed that New Englanders are extremely loyal -- to their friends, family, values and traditions. Over there if you mess with someone's bestie, favorite local spot, or the Sox, you've got another thing coming. It can be a bit harder to make friends (we aren't really the type to say "howdy stranger" on the sidewalk) but once you do, that friendship is solid. On a different but related note, I sense a much deeper appreciation of traditions on the East Coast.  Being able to identify with and look forward to various holiday, regional and family traditions is such a meaningful way to bring seasonality, comfort and culture into your life. I miss the traditions of home!



New Years Eve

I didn't realize this til I got out here but...I really like ringing in the new year with the ball drop! Out here in Cali, midnight feels a bit anticlimactic. Like it's already happened and we're behind the times (because, well, we are...).  And I guess while I'm admitting that I like snow and all, I'll also admit that I like ringing in the New Year in the cold! Weird, I know.


Go-Get'em Attitude

There's a fair amount of hustle going on in San Francisco, but I'd say as a whole that New Englanders win the prize when it comes to drive, effort, energy and feistiness. We see something we want, and we go get it. We don't take no for an answer. We talk faster, work faster, and get shit done.


California

Avocados

Let's start with a smally but goody. Here, avocados are always delicious, always in season. In New England you often have to plan your weekend guacamole 3 days in advance to culture them in a brown bag to the perfect ripeness - over here you can have perfect avocados any day of the year.




Laid Back Vibes

People are a bit more chill over here. It's not everyone and it's not all the time, but folks here are generally less tense - more visibly happy and relaxed. It must just be a California way of being, and I like it.


Camping / Outdoor Adventure

Out here, it seems like 95% of the people you meet would consider themselves "outdoorsy". I feel right at home! This one is the big winner of my California faves, and it's one of the main reasons Jimbo and I came out here in the first place. There's always an outdoor adventure right around the corner. You can drive less than an hour in any direction and find camping, a beach, hiking, picnics - you name it! This is the part of living out here that would be hardest to give up.


Food

I think as far as restaurants go, this one is more of a San Francisco vs. Boston thing than a Cali vs. New England thing (sorry Boston!). But it's true. The food out here is amazing! The eateries are incredibly diverse in both food, style, ambiance and price range. The locavore/farm-to-table movements is strong, and even in the "regular" restaurants it's likely that your food was grown right around the corner. Californians are all about health trends so you can find food for your vegan, paleo, gluten-free or extra-bacon diet. It would take years to explore all of the yumminess that San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley have to offer.


Wide Open Spaces

This one sort of goes with outdoor adventure, but it deserves its own category. I just love the views down here. Sunny rolling hills, crashing waves, snowy mountain peaks, huge valleys, redwood trees - it's everywhere you look. Nothing resets me like taking some deep breaths in front of a wide expanse of natural beauty.


Wine

Another obvious one. Even after a lot of time in Italy, I don't think I truly knew how much I love wine until I came to live out here. With Napa, Sonoma, Dry Creek, Alexander, and many other wine-making valleys nearby, I've learned so much, and this might make you think less of me but...I truly can't get enough of it. :::slurp:::


Whew! Well that's what I have for now. As you can tell, I love both of these places :). I know I could have gone on forever. What would be on your list?




p.s. this post is dedicated to my darling friend SCC who is considering making THE BIG MOVE from Boston to the Bay Area. Come on over, lady - the sunshine is waitin'!

p.p.s. These illustrated fun facts about San Francisco are just the cutest - I wish there was one for Boston!

Currently

Monday, February 9, 2015

{found a perfect shell in Pescadero last weekend}












It's been awhile since I did one of these posts, but my brain feels very full and jumbled right now so I know this is going to feel good. "Currently" posts are kind of therapeutic. Are you a journaler? Give it a try sometime! It's kind of like a brain dump. 


Currently I'm........


Listening to... This adorable cover by Lennon and Maisy - how cute are they?? Also, The Lone Bellow has an awesome new album.  And I have a new favorite podcast!! If you're a podcast listener, you must check out NPR's newest podcast Invisibilia. It "explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior - things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions". And the two hosts are pretty adorbs. Check it out

Thinking about...cooking soup this week. I made a good veggie soup a couple of weeks ago and froze half of it - it lasted forever and was so great to turn to for a quick meal over the last 2 weeks! I want to start doing that more regularly. I'm thinking of trying this ginger + lime carrot soup next. I'm also thinking a lot about how to make Jimbo's upcoming 30th birthday a special one. I have some ideas! 

Loving...being back in my normal workout routine. Feels f*ing GREAT. I re-joined my gym and am loving the new classes being offered there - lots of high energy music and muscle work. I needed it bad. I'm also loving the rain we're having right now in the Bay Area. 

Watching...Fury was pretty good! And Girls. Gotta love it. Also, I've been watching Friends on Netflix as a late night snack before bed - it's a lovely indulgence. 

Reading...Nothing at the moment but my momma was awesome enough to mail me a book in the mail a couple of weeks ago (surprise packages are so delightful!!) that I want to try. I also got a free copy of The Innovators at a recent conference I was at, where the author, Walter Isaacson gave an amazing talk (which sold me on the book). I'll let you know how it is.

Excited about... Spring travel weekends! San Diego, Palm Springs, Tahoe skiing, San Luis Obisbo and last but not least SWEDEN are all on my horizon between now and Memorial Day weekend. And maybe a work trip to Seattle. Yay for new places and adventures! I'm particularly excited for this upcoming weekend with friends in Tahoe - it finally snowed up there, and I have Monday off, and it's going to be great. 

Considering...trying out acupuncture. Have any of you? I'm curious...


Thanks for peeking in, friends - Happy Monday! 

Getaway Weekend :: New Orleans

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Want to know an awesome place to have a work conference???


You guessed it (maybe).

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. 


New Orleans is easily one of my favorite cities - there's something incredibly special about it. Jimbo and I went there for the first time as part of our big road trip, and I fell in love. There's a hum about the city that's truly magical. It's so warm. So colorful. So eclectic. And how could you not love a city where everywhere you turn, you find live music? 



It was a terrible weekend for picture taking because I was primarily there for a work conference and couldn't bring along my nice camera, but we did manage to get a lot of good sights, sounds and eats into our long weekend.  Here's where I spent my time:

Eats
Marigny Brasserie :: the best part about this place is it's location in the Frenchmen Street section of the city, which is an adorable little neighborhood right outside the French Quarter where you can get all of the music, food and fun that you'd find on Bourbon Street but without the dirt and the crowds. We also saw a really cute music performance here while eating a tasty crab cake.
Buffa's :: a true local recommended it, so we had to try - and it didn't disappoint! Fun local join for easy, greasy New Orleans food and local live music.
Eat New Orleans :: YUM. Perfect pricing, yummy options, cozy atmosphere, and BYOB encouraged. Done and done. I got a delicious blackened catfish sandwich. 
August :: I was lucky enough to dine at this fancy place, courtesy of the conference I was at. French noms with a southern, cajun twist. My mouth waters just thinking about the flavors. If you can swing it, I can't recommend this place enough. 

Coffee
Petite Amelie :: oh so cute. Yummy coffee, green juices, and even king cake - which is worth a bite :). 
Spitfire Coffee :: fully recommended for an AMAZING cappuccino. Seriously, the best. 
Cafe Du Monde :: for the famous, delicious beignets. So good with a glass of cold milk. 

Drinks
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop :: a piece of history! Built before 1772, this is supposedly the oldest continually occupied bar in the U.S. I liked the dark, ancient vibe and the outdoor bar. 
Bourbon Cowboy :: I'm happy to say that I can now cross 'throwing mardi gras beads off a Bourbon Street balcony' off my list of things to do :).
Balcony Music Club :: I love the vibe and music line up here - somehow I keep finding my way back!

Sights/Strolls/Shops
French Market :: fun place to check out local crafts and yummy foods.
Frenchmen Art Market :: we had so much fun here one night! it's in the Frenchman Street area and was open at night - great place to walk around and shop with a drink in hand ;)
Royal Street :: walk all the way from one side to the other - so many adorable shops and galleries, and a live band at every corner!
Bevolo Gas & Electric Lamps :: worth peeking in the window of this beautiful store filled with the gas lamps the French Quarter is famous for.

I'll be back, New Orleans!

Heading to the Mountains + Links

Saturday, January 17, 2015


I'm heading up to Tahoe this weekend to get some skiing in - can't wait!  *fist pump for three day weekends*  We haven't been getting nearly enough snow out here, so I'm anticipating some East Coast flashbacks on the icy mountains. But I don't care. If you think of it this weekend, do a little Snow Dance for me! ;).  Keeping this short - heading off to the mountains!

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Here are some good links for your weekend:


I think these tips might put me on an Etsy bender...

Eating better without juicing, cleansing or cutting gluten.

This trick for falling asleep seems like something worth trying.

Could you live in a town without Wi-fi?

Bring me to all these places.

This site holds wisdom, and I like it.

Ready for your New-Year-Purge?

Cute recap of 2014
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