photo NavFB_zpsjwdb3bt3.png photo NavIG_zpskqcprcil.png photo NavTwit_zpsyhgy6hy6.png photo NavPin_zpskrv3u3lk.png photo NavBL_zps30om3pbh.png


Brunch by the Bay

If you're anything like me, you love a good brunch! I've found quite a few great spots here in San Francisco for brunch, and decided I should share the love! There is nothing better than sitting with friends, sipping a mimosa or coffee, and chatting over a delicious meal. If  you haven't tried these spots you should definitely check them out.

I love them all for different reasons. For a fun, boozy brunch, I would definitely choose Marengo. It's on Union Street which is always lively and fun. It also has a retractable glass ceiling that is perfect for sunny San Francisco days. It's a great place to hang out for an extended brunch with friends.

Part of the reason I love Eats and Ella's so much is that they're walking distance from our house. But beyond that, they have excellent food! Both have traditional brunch items, but with a unique flavor. At eats I had an amazing pulled pork hash, and the homemade biscuits are out of this world at Ella's. Both can have pretty lengthy wait times at the height of weekend brunch hours, but it's worth the wait or waking up early.

Next time you aren't sure where to go for brunch, keep these three in mind! I know you'll love them!

If you have any must try brunch spots, do tell!

** click the restaurant name for website & details **




I Believe In Equality

I'm not usually the type to post things like this and get political, this space isn't meant to be a place to start debates. But I felt this was important. 

I am so proud that we're finally working towards equality for all Americans. I feel especially lucky to be here, in San Francisco during this time because it is such an accepting and loving city. On the way to work this morning as I listened to the radio, I surprised myself when my eyes welled up at the announcement on The Supreme Court ruling. I was so happy to hear that we are one step closer to equality for everyone. After all, this country was founded on the idea that everyone should be treated equally. 

I'm not exactly sure why I have such strong beliefs about this. But I think it has to do with a conversation I had with my wonderful Auntie Alice a few years ago. I think she would be so proud to see the news today if she were still with us. 

It's been exciting to see the positive reactions and love flooding all forms of social media today. And I wanted to share a few of the things I've seen posted around the web.

Photo taken by Robby Bearman in the Castro this morning
San Francisco City Hall

And the music video for Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Love is Love.




Reunited at AT&T Park

Last Thursday Andrew and I went to the Giants game with our good friends Corrie and Erica. I'm always excited for a night of baseball, but I was especially excited last week. Two of my very best friends were going to be at the game as well. I was SO excited to see them because it had been far too long. 

I first became friends with Ally and Emilee in 2008 when I worked at a local restaurant after graduating from college. Although we went to the same high school, I am a couple years older and I didn't know them very well until we started working together. Ally and Emilee are identical twins, and my long lost sisters. They are just the most fun, generous, and loving girls. Right from the start we were inseparable.

Since 2009, Ally has lived in Hawaii for school, and I've only seen her a few times in the past few years. And for the past year, Emilee lived in Hawaii as well. So it was high time for a reunion! Now that Emilee is home, and Ally is back on the mainland (in Washington), I hope to see much much more of them. 

Although it was a quick visit, and we didn't get to catch up very much, I was so happy just to spend time with them. I had a permanent smile plastered on my face the entire time. I didn't take too many pictures, but I love the few I did get that night. 

Old friends are the best friends. I am so thankful that even after many years, and hundreds of miles between us, they're still two of my closest friends. LULT! 

Two of my favorite twins! (surprisingly I am friends with 4 sets of twins)!

Emilee and I

Rocking my new Hunter Pence jersey #8! 

Erica and I 

Love birds

Fun story...Andrew had met Emilee before, but not Ally. When we first went to meet them by their seats Thursday, Ally came running up to hug me. She then introduced herself to Andrew. He told me later he was so confused, and almost said, "I know you!" but luckily Emilee walked up just in time! He didn't realize they're identical! :) 




34 Hours in San Diego

Good afternoon my friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I can't quite believe ours is over. I think we spent almost as much time in the car as we did in San Diego. 

As I mentioned on Friday, we went down to San Diego for the wedding of Andrew's childhood friend. We got a late start Friday and didn't get on the road until a little after 6:00pm. At least by that time, the traffic wasn't too terrible getting out of the city. However, by the time we made it to LA it was after midnight, and there were multiple lane and road closures on I-5 Which made for a longgggggg and frustrating drive. We didn't get in until almost 3:30 in the morning, so there was no hope for getting up early on Saturday. 

Once we were up Saturday, we had a few hours to run errands and enjoy the warm weather before we had to get ready for the wedding. We hit up our favorite Patagoina Store in Cardiff, stopped into a few surf shops, and of course had a California burrito for lunch. Thankfully, there was still about an hour left to lay by the pool and work on my tan.


California Burrito - I ate half, best burrito of my life

The wedding was really nice. It was a beautiful setting at the bride's parents home, and the perfect day for a wedding. It was nice to meet some of Andrew's friends from home that I hadn't met before. And to see his friend Maryann that I've gotten to know pretty well over the past few years. The bride and groom looked lovely, and seemed to have the perfect evening soaking it all in. 

photo booth fun!
Maryann and I

Sunday we woke up and grabbed a quick breakfast and packed up all of our stuff. We wanted to make a quick stop at the outlets so that Andrew could make a return. It was a good thing we didn't have much time, because I was ready to shop! Andrew got a few things, and I found a cute sweater too, so it was a successful trip. 

By 1:00pm it was time to hit the road again. We were both dreading the long car ride, so I tried to think of a few things to keep us entertained! I Googled road trip games for adults, which provided a few entertaining results. Who knew Mrs. Fields was an expert on more than just cookies?! (I won the cow game by the way, Andrew had no chance since we passed Harris Ranch)! I also learned it is impossible for Andrew to name is top 3 movies without time to seriously categorize and rank them, that he wants to go to Tahiti, and even if he could have any car in the world, it would be a lifted Toyota Tundra (as long as he doesn't have to pay for gas). Possibly the best road trip entertainment were the scratchers I bought at a gas station leaving the Bay Area on Friday. We won a whole $6 dollars on the first scratcher so I decided to cash it in for a couple more, unfortunately we weren't so lucky on the drive home...but it was worth the $3 for entertainment!

There were many hours of amusing conversation to say the least, and I even managed to stay awake the entire time and drove the last 200 miles home. But we made a deal that from now on, anytime we go on a road trip we have to arrive at the final destination before midnight. No exceptions! 

What are your favorite road trip games? 




Sunshine and Summertime

It's officially summer! Even though San Francisco hasn't really caught on to what this season is all about, I plan to take full advantage of my weekends to experience at least a little bit of sunshine!

We're starting our summer off with a trip down to San Diego for, you guessed it, another wedding. It's going to be a longggg drive but I'm looking forward to laying out and relaxing a little before the wedding tomorrow. Hopefully we'll make it to the beach, but I'll settle for some pool time too! 

I decided to make a list of things I'd like to do this summer, in hopes that we'll actually check some of them off the list! What are your summer plans?

go camping at least twice
go wakeboarding
Big Sur
read 2 books
plan our vacation
complete our DIY island project
explore a new area of San Francisco
float the river with friends
spend time with Phillip
plan a trip home to see friends
try a new restaurant
go to a country concert
lots of hiking
host brunch or dinner for friends

Happy Summer my friends! Get out there and enjoy it!




Letters to Norene

brushing my Mom's hair 
sweethearts for over fifty years

Dear Grandma Norene,

I've been thinking a lot about you lately, and missing you. I'm so lucky to have spent 22 years of my life getting to learn from you. What an amazing, kind and giving woman.

Lucky for me, you raised a daughter to be just like you. And I've had an amazing role model for a mother as well. It's fun when Mom says something, or does something, that reminds me of you. You often hear people say "oh no, I'm turning into my mother!" but I think in our case, we are so blessed.

One thing I learned from watching you, is that you treated everyone with love and respect. It didn't matter their background, status, or where they came from. You greeted everyone with loving, and open arms. I've tried to remind myself lately that this is the way people should be treated. And remember to handle difficult situations with grace, and offer the same genuine kindness to everyone I meet. It's not always easy, but I know it is the best way. I don't know how you raised seven kids (five boys) and stayed such a sweet and gentle lady!

I am so thankful that I was able to go on the RV trip with you and Grandpa up to Washington. Those are some of the best memories, especially climbing up on the roof of the RV to watch the sunset. I wish I could find those pictures. We had so many wonderful camping trips over the years for family reunion. We're so lucky you planned that time for everyone to be together. Playing games, swimming, eating "Mexican garbage" and ebelskivers. Luckily, Grant is a pro at making both Mexican garbage and ebelskivers, so we get together and reminisce sometimes.

You were always such a sport about playing games with us, we teased you to no end about making up rules and cheating. But you loved having everyone together around the table to play games. And we still love a good game of chicken foot dominos in your honor. 

You are greatly missed. I often think about one of the last things you said to me. That I should be a nurse. Sometimes I wonder about it, and think of going back to school. It meant a lot to me, under the circumstances, when you said that to me. I am happy that I could help, even just a tiny bit, to care for you.

I will continue to smile, and think of you when I arrange a vase of fresh cut flowers, play a game, read children's books, or see something about Elvis on television. We have Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and I can't wait to put on a show for Phillip this Christmas. Of the so many wonderful things you taught us, most importantly was that family comes first. Thank you for being such an amazing, strong role model. Not only for me, but our entire family. I know each and every one of your grandchildren misses you and thinks of you often.

I love you,


at the Dutch Flat pool

** I'm sure if anyone in my family read this, they would be confused about the Elvis comment. But I have a very vivid memory of watching an Elvis documentary/biography on TV late one night when staying at Grandma's. I don't know if I remember it because it was interesting, or because she let me stay up past midnight to watch it with her. 




Statement Necklace Obsession

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 

I recently become obsessed with statement necklaces. I know, I am way behind the times on this one, as usual. 

My obsession started when I was looking for a bold necklace to go with the dress I bought for the wedding we're going to in San Diego this weekend. The dress is a solid royal blue, so I wanted a colorful statement necklace to make it look more interesting. I discovered the website Jeweliq and love it! If you haven't seen it, it's worth a look. They have great jewelry, all for $25 or less! I also found BaubleBar which has great options as well. 

Unfortunately, because I am the worst online shopper and let my indecisive ways get the best of me, my favorite necklaces are either out of stock or wouldn't have shipped in time for the wedding. But I found a great back up, that will hopefully look good with the dress! I'll keep you posted. 

Have you discovered any new online stores recently? Did you jump on the statement necklace trend? 

Happy Shopping! 




The Streets of San Francisco

I mentioned yesterday that when my parents were visiting us last weekend we went on an urban hike through San Francisco. It was so nice to just stroll through the city with no where to go. We stopped to look at houses and dream about the ones we'd want to live in, looked at the beautiful flowers, and admired the view. It is an amazing city we live in. Here are some pictures I snapped on my iPhone along the way. 

an amusing sign posted on a garage in Pac Heights.
when I took the pic the owner walked outside to water her flowers and asked me if I wanted to add another tally mark to her sign! haha





Weekend Update

I had a wonderful weekend, but it was jammed packed! I can't believe it's already Monday and we're back at work. 

The weekend started with a visit from my parents. They got into town on Friday evening. We had reservations to try 1300 on Fillmore for dinner. I hadn't heard much about it, but it had good reviews, and availability for a last minute reservation. I'm always nervous trying new places without a solid recommendation, but I was pleasantly surprised. The restaurant offers California cuisine with a southern influence. They also have a large lounge with live music on Friday night. I especially liked the decor in the lounge area, there was a huge gallery wall with old photographs that were actually back-lit. I'd definitely recommend 1300 on Fillmore if you're looking for a place for dinner, or even somewhere to meet for cocktail hour. 

For my entree I ordered the Catfish at the recommendation of our waiter. It was delicious!  After tasting everyone's dinners, I decided mine was the best. My parents both had the Petrale Sole and Andrew had the fried chicken, a house specialty. Everything from the salad with pickled watermelon to the strawberry shortcake and sorbet was delicious. 

Saturday morning we woke up and headed to one of our favorite breakfast spots, Ella's. We ordered way too much food, and I was stuffed. But it was delicious as usual. I ordered the Southwestern Benedict. It was amazing, the hollandaise had just enough spice. Instead of the traditional English Muffin, it was served over their homemade cilantro-lime biscuits. If you haven't tried Ella, add it to the list :) 

Since we stuffed ourselves at breakfast, we decided to do an urban hike through the city. We ended up walking to the Patagonia store after breakfast, and then back through the Marina and Pacific Heights on the way home. I forgot to use the app on my phone, but we figured we logged about 6.5 miles, including a few pretty steep San Francisco hills!

After our long walk, my parents headed back towards the foothills for a party they were attending that night. Andrew and I had plans as well, and took BART over to Berkeley for a concert.  We met a few friends at Jupiter for a pizza and a few beers before heading up to the Greek Theater. I've been a fan of Dispatch and Guster since college, and was really looking forward to the concert. It was a great show, and especially fun to see some old friends I hadn't seen in months! One of my good friends from college, Devin, and his fiance met us at the venue. Devin and I have been to many concerts together, and it was fun to add another one to the list. I was glad I finally got to see Dispatch live, even though I think I'm still partial to Chad's newer band, State Radio

Sunday was a low key day. We decided to make the famous Magliozzi Sunday Dinner. Homemade red sauce with pasta, meatballs and fried eggplant. It was amazing, but I ate wayyy to much! Andrew's sister came over once we got the sauce started, and we drove over to Marin to get out of the city for some warmth and sunshine. It was a fun drive. We went to a board shop Andrew had discovered a few weeks ago, got some frozen yogurt, and drove around Sausalito. Then headed back to the fog to enjoy our Sunday feast. 

It was a great weekend! But after writing this post, I'm afraid we did more eating than anything else, so I better get to the gym! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well! Happy Monday!




Happy Fathers Day! I Love You Dad!

The other day I was reading Links I Love on Cupcakes and Cashmere and loved this sweet blog post written by a Dad. I really enjoyed reading it and I wanted to share it with you in honor of Fathers Day today. I am so lucky to have an amazing Dad. He is encouraging, loving, and supportive. I’m so happy I was able to spend some time with him this weekend to celebrate Fathers Day.
I’ve listed the 50 Rules from the original post below and shared a pictures and memories with a few of them.
Happy Fathers Day, Dad! I love you very much. Thank you for always being supportive and loving. I’m so lucky to have you as a Dad.

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.
One of the best things about my parents is their obvious love for one another. They've been married for almost 41 years, and have continually been the ideal role model for marriage and how to love your partner. I can only hope someday I have a marriage as strong as theirs.

Over 40 Years Together

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.
This was the great thing about my Dad, we were always spending time together. He read to us every night before bed, asked us about our day as we sat around the dinner table, and took us camping and exploring every chance he got.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.
He's always been there for me. Even after I moved away to college, and now living in San Francisco, I know he is just a phone call away. Even at 28 I call him for advice about every big decision and strive to make him proud with everything I do.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.
I still think you're the bees knees.

 5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually. 

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.
We always preferred to throw a nerf football instead :)

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.
He ALWAYS chose Mom's side. And that's ok. It used to bother me back then, but looking back, I see that it goes hand in hand with #1 on this list. And I'm guessing my Mom was probably right anyway.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.
I got opals instead, since I'm an October baby. And I like them better anyway.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.
I'm sure there were a lot of peek-a-boo games I just can't remember.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”
I didn't get a yes on that one. But anytime I see a golden retriever I think of my Dad. It's a our special 'thing' from the song, Father Daughter by Paul Simon.

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.
Dad is always the one I go to when I need advice about money. You can bet I haven't always made the best decisions. But I'll never forget the paper he gave me before heading off to college with a breakdown of interest payments on credit cards. Scary. I keep that in mind every time I reach for a credit card, "do I really need this?"

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.
Eggs were always Dad's specialty for breakfast (and still are)! And on birthday's, he'd blast They Say It's Your Birthday, by the Beatles or some Ab Lincoln birthday song that I can't remember for the life of me, sorry Dad!

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.
I don't think they had baby chucks back then. But I remember when I bought my first pair, my Dad thought they were SO cool and told me how he used to work out in them :)

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.
I danced on your toes in the kitchen when I was a little girl. And again at Val's wedding a few years ago. Both are some of my favorite memories.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.
I had so much fun fishing with you when we went backpacking. It was the trip when I burned my foot, so we stayed back at the lake while Mom and Christine went for a hike. We were lucky that day, and caught at least 8 I think. I clearly remember you teaching me how to clean it, I was both grossed out and totally intrigued.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.
I'm sure there were a lot of times you said "no" but actually, I can't think of a specific time. Probably because I realized it was for the best, except for maybe the dog thing (question #11).

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.
You always made me feel loved and beautiful. More than anyone else in my life.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.
You taught me how to change a flat on my Camry in the garage. Luckily I haven't had to call you crying yet!

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.
You hit this one out of the ballpark. I am so blessed to have spent so much time camping and traveling with you growing up. I've seen more backcountry than most get to see in their lifetime. Because of this, I share your love of the great outdoors and our environment. Thank you for taking the time to teach me how important it is to get out and enjoy nature.

 21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.
I remember doing this on the way home from Grams house in the Vanagon, I don't know if I just sat on your lap or actually got to "steer" but it's a happy memory just the same. And I'll never forget when you first took me out to drive before I had my permit. We went to the high school and drove in circles through the parking lot. I think of you every time I drive over a speed bump to fast, and when I "totally pause" at the stop sign on Sunnyside.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.
I've always been able to keep up with the boys, and I'm not afraid to get dirty!

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

 24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.
I don't think I've ever seen YOU eat a sunflower seed. Unless it was in some type of trail mix or gorp.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny. 

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.
That was the best part about the new addition, besides painting a mural on the wall before they knocked it down :) I could spin in circles for hours and slide around in my socks. And we can't forget when Christine, Lauren and I did the Macarena.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.
It was always so exciting to greet you when you got home. I remember running out to meet you in the garage or at the front door when you would get home from work.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

 36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.
You always write the best cards. I always knew this to be true, but when I did the anniversary gift for you and mom last year, a few people mentioned that in their letters. I realized how lucky I was that you're my parents, and not everyone gets sweet cards like I do.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.
I'm sure this was a challenge during my high school years. Thanks for sticking with me :)

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
I remember very clearly one morning when you were driving to school, I was MAD. I don't remember what about, but I remember you wanting to talk about things on the drive. I said, "I'm not ready to talk about it yet." And you said, "That's okay. We can talk about it later." I remember feeling really thankful that you were able to give me space so I could cool down, and collect my thoughts.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.
Ice cream and frozen yogurt used to be a frequent treat. (Unless I went to the wrong day care and missed our frozen yogurt date)! We'd both usually get rainbow sherbet if it was at Baskin Robbins, you with a waffle cone, me with a cake cone. But I think the real favorite for both of us is chocolate and vanilla swirl soft serve after a long hike in Tuolumne Meadows.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

Be sure to check out Michael's original post here.

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad's out there! Especially mine :) 


09 10