Category Archives: Life

Bay Area Eats: Rumble Fish

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I sort of think that if I were forced to have sushi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day that I wouldn’t be that upset. While the sushi here in California doesn’t exactly compare to Seattle, I still feel pretty lucky that I have some spots nearby that I really enjoy! One of them is in downtown Mountain View on Castro Street. Since I’ve been here, I have yet to find another sushi spot that can make a seared salmon. When Rumble Fish opened sometime in late 2015, I decided to test my luck. It was a good move because now the seared salmon is all I eat from there! If that picture above makes it look like the seared salmon melts in your mouth… it’s because it does.

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Our Obsession w/ Glassybaby

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If you’ve been following us on Instagram lately, then you may have noticed a series of photos featuring handblown glass candle votives. One friend of mine even asked me if I had become Glassybaby’s latest spokesperson because they have made so many appearances on my feed. Nope! I just think they are extremely gorgeous and pretty. Every time I see a collection of them, I feel inclined to take a photo. Earlier this year, I mentioned that I had become obsessed with having candles in my home so it’s not totally surprising that they were the gateway to Glassybaby. I’ve actually known about the brand for a few years as they are originally from my hometown of Seattle and I had had a few girlfriends (Jennie – in particular!) who has been collecting and decorating her condo with them for years.

I kept visiting their Stanford Shopping Center location this year and each time I would pick out my favorites and of course, snap a photo while I was there. It didn’t take long though until Glassybaby started noticing some of my photos on Instagram and I was contacted by Alyssa (an employee of the company) who invited me to Berkeley to meet with her and visit their studio and hot shop. #goals.

The space was absolutely beautiful! Having done some event planning prior to recruiting, event spaces are something that I have managed to develop crushes on and this was one of those spaces. There was so much natural lighting and open space not to mention you can watch the Glassybabys being made right in front of you. It was a pretty cool experience to witness and we’re so glad that Alyssa gave us the opportunity!

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Every day the hot shop focuses on 6 different Glassybaby’s to make. Spoiler Alert! They let me take home Bay Lights that day and I’ve been keeping it lit ever since.

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Wedding Mondays

Happy Wedding Mondays everyone! It’s been awhile since we’ve had one of these and I honestly was going to go to bed before scheduling one ahead of time, but then I remembered that every time I have said that on a Monday I usually end up too lazy after a long work day and just heading straight to bed. So we’re going to stick to commitment this time around. I was looking in my queues to see if I even had a wedding video when I saw this one by Lindsey and Saman. But wait – didn’t I already feature this?! Something made me think that I had because I had remembered telling Mandi all about this wedding video from this adorable couple in LA which took place at one amazing venue – Lombardi House. I dug through my archives, but couldn’t find it and then I remembered… this is the Grimace Films wedding video that I fell in love with and Mandi and Eric’s wedding video vendor!

For her most recent post, she had told me that to pick the video that I wanted to use and I seriously considered this one but thought – well I’ve already featured it (but I actually hadn’t!) and ended up choosing the one that I knew that she truly loved.

I love this wedding video for so many reasons. Ugh, the bride! The groom! The venue! The first look! Seriously, what’s not to love? We could go on and on shouting each aspect that we love, but you should probably just watch for yourself.

You can view the rest of the feature at Green Wedding Shoes here.

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The Inflatables You Need This Summer

Strawberry Donut Pool Float – $19

We’re headed to Palm Springs this weekend for Mandi’s Bachelorette Weekend and getting more and more excited with every day. Mandi and I have honestly been talking about this for months and when I found out that we were going to Palm Springs, I was ecstatic. It’s my first time! It’s also going to be extremely hot. There’s no doubt that we’ll be spending a lot of our time poolside, but what’s a pool party without inflatables, right? It seems like every pool party I’ve seen this year has had a smattering of assorted inflatables and my favorite ones? The ones that look like food! I believe we’ve got a partially bitten donut coming with us (you know the one we’re talking about!) but here are a few other ones that we wish we could take along too! Don’t be caught without one of these this summer or you’ll be experiencing FOMO.

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The Day G Became a Bride

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I’ve been wanting to write this post for a couple of weeks now since the wedding actually happened, but like most important posts in my life I’ve come to the realization that it’s always better to wait a bit before putting my thoughts into this editor. Gelesia got married on Saturday, April 23rd and she wasn’t the first of my high school friends to get married, but the first that was closest to me. It seemed like it was just a week before that I had been in Mexico with her sipping on Miami Vices for breakfast and then all of a sudden, we were on a flight to LAX and driving to Ojai to see her become a wife.

Don’t worry, we’ll still write a post about what we did/saw/ate in Ojai and talk about what we wore to Gelesia’s wedding, but this right here is all about Gelesia.

A couple of weeks before I left for the wedding, Mandi and I were having one of our hangout days and I kept saying “I can’t believe it’s happening. It hasn’t set in yet!” Her and I have talked a lot about Mandi’s upcoming wedding and Gelesia’s for that matter and we both knew that they were going to be pretty different. One is in Ojai. The other is in Yosemite. One friend is from high school. The other is from college/post-college. Then Mandi said something to me that was pretty eye-opening – she told that it was really cool that I get to attend the wedding of one of my close friends from high school because I probably know her family very well and not only do I get to spend time with Gelesia at the wedding, but I get to catch up with them too. After all, I’ve known Gelesia for about 9 years – the same amount of time I’ve know her family. With college friends, it’s not like you know their families as well as you do with high school friends so in some ways, this is really really special.

And Mandi was absolutely right.

I actually did spend the first night in Ojai at welcome drinks with the guests of the wedding chatting it up with her family and catching up with her mom. Similar to how you feel when you catch up with an old friend after years and nothing has changed was the exact feeling that I had with them. We reminisced on past birthday parties, family parties at Grandma’s, our favorite local joint – Pizza Bank and how I would always go to G’s house when I just didn’t feel like being at mine!

Gelesia has grown into such an amazing woman – a wonderful friend through the years and now she’s going to nail it at being a wife. It can be hard when after high school your friends and you all take separate paths, but I’m very grateful for the years we had in high school together and seeing how we manage to stay close as we both take these next steps in our lives. Isn’t she just the most darling bride?! Also, as a bonus, here’s a photo below of a time when we weren’t so grown.

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Blog Roundup

  • 4 men and their different incomes and lifestyles [Esquire]
  • What do you do the night before you travel? [Fathom]
  • How long your work breaks should be [A Life of Productivity]
  • 25 songs that tell us the direction of music [New York Times]
  • The food you relate to the most according to your birthday [Refinery29] YES! of course mine is chocolate covered raisins <3
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Wedding Wednesdays – Hiring a Videographer

I’m not sure when the obsession started. Thinking back, I know I was not always one of those girls who had their entire dream wedding planned by the age of 13, but somehow the obsession began. The obsession with wedding videos that is.

Hiring a videographer was the most “no-brainer” decision I have had to make throughout the wedding planning process so far. Other decisions have been debated at length and pro/con lists have been made, but a wedding video for me was an obvious yes, no questions asked and no debate to be had. I speak for myself in this blog because I’ll be honest, Eric definitely could have left a wedding video behind. But because he’s been sitting next to me as I silently cry through countless strangers’ wedding videos and because he loves me and is a perfect human, he obliged to my big ticket wedding desire.

First, the hunt for the perfect videographer was not easy. I had very specific ideas in mind as to what makes the perfect wedding video. I did not want a “music video”. Instead I wanted a video that includes the toasts and the vows, a video that captures moments throughout the day that photos simply cannot.

Second, it’s important to know going into the hunt for a videographer how crucial a video even is to you. Wedding videographers are not cheap, in fact, they are ridiculously expensive and if you think you can live without a wedding video then it is probably not worth it to you to splurge. Eric and I met a couple at a catering tasting that said it was the easiest thing for them to cut once they went down this road and found the cost to be prohibitive. You do you, this is your big day and prioritizing what’s important to you and your fiancé is all that matters.

Third, if you’re on a budget like we are, I would highly recommend finding a videographer who is more “up and coming”. What’s fun about our videographers, for example, is that they are a group of guys who honed their skills after years of filming skateboarders. The famous and flashy videographers are great, but it’s so much more fun to work with a bunch of hardworking and talented vendors who are on the verge of making it big, saving you some money while still getting the high quality product you’re after.

Lastly, there are some ways to make your video more affordable. Most videographers offer several different packages based on the amount of time you are requesting them for, the film used, and whether or not you want toasts or vows included. As much as I would love to have Super 8 film strewn throughout our video, it is extremely expensive and for our budget was just simply not worth the cost. For us, we were able to choose the middle package and squeeze it in our budget.

The best part about the process of hiring a videographer was getting to work with the wonderful creator behind Yow Yow! who understands my wedding video obsession better than anyone else. Each time I found a new videographer who I thought might be right I would text Katie immediately to give me a second opinion, trusting her judgment and eye for talent and quality completely. When we landed on Grimace Films, Katie and I celebrated because we were mutually in love with everything about their videos. We decided it would be fitting to post one of their sample videos below for those who appreciate a well-done wedding video. Obviously stay tuned for our wedding video, which we will undoubtedly post after our wedding this fall!
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Saturdayz

Do you ever get dressed up on a weekend night ready to go out only to completely drop the ball and stay in? That’s what we’re doing tonight. An hour ago, I got in the shower for the second time today, did my makeup – made my lashes look good, put on my signature scent and solidified my plans, but then I looked at my candle and remembered that it smelled really good when I lit it for the first time last night. And then… wouldn’t it smell awesome if I lit it again… tonight?!

I’ve been trying to make an effort to go out more, but let’s just be honest with ourselves – I’m such a homebody! And after 4 nights of being away last weekend, I really missed being at home. So here we are – it’s 8:00 PM, I’ve got a full face of makeup on, but I’ve gotten into my comfies and I’ve got my favorite Pop! popcorn next to me – the cheddar and caramel mixed kind and a bag of Raisinets that I’m still eating from Gelesia’s wedding last weekend. We’re just going to chill.

Happy Saturday night in y’all!

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Bay Area Eats: Leo’s Oyster Bar

photo cred | SF Eater

A few weeks ago, my gal pal Andie and I decided to try out Leo’s Oyster Bar which has only been open for just a couple of months. It had been showing up on my Instagram feed more than usual, got a solid review from Mandi, anddd I just love oysters. Having been disappointed by the other oyster places in the city, I was really hoping that this one would not disappoint. And it didn’t! Andie I showed up without a reservation and were seated in under 30 minutes. We had the option of sitting in the main area or the lounge in the back – the only downside was that we wouldn’t have access to three of the menu items (which was fine by us!)

Here’s what we ordered and what we recommend:

  • a selection of raw oysters
  • Oyster Carbonara w/ crispy pancetta
  • Rock Shrimp Toast, Bacon and Lemon Aioli
  • Seafood Bisque w/ Lobster, King Crab and Rock Shrimp
  • Dessert: Lemon Mousse w/ Brown Butter Streusel

Andie let me know that she’s never been a huge fan of oysters so I shared with her the menu beforehand and after our evening together, I think she was a converted fan. The two of us have had our girl dinners for the past few months now, but Leo’s was definitely the most fun for us! You’ll love the decor, but you’ll love the food even more.

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Wedding Wednesdays – Engagement Shoot Adventure

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Part I: The Photographer

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s so important to figure out you and your fiance’s priorities from the beginning of the wedding planning roller coaster. If your fiance’s priority is beer and yours is music then those are the two things you should focus your time, energy, and money on. Photography has always been top of our priority list for our wedding so finding the perfect photographer was crucial. First and foremost we knew posed portrait style photos were not our thing. Eric and I have never taken professional photos together and are pretty silly people generally so imagining ourselves standing together like we’re going back to high school prom doesn’t suit us. Based on our preference, documentary style photography is what we were looking for. It was also important for us to take into account our venue, Yosemite National Park. We wanted to choose someone who is no stranger to photographing the outdoors and not just any outdoors, basically the most magical and dreamy outdoor space imaginable. Having these qualifications we set out, with our amazing wedding planner, to find the perfect match.

Greg Balkin of Brightwood Photography is a genius. He is one of the most talented photographers I’ve ever seen and that’s just taking into account his outdoor photography. The emotions and love he is able to capture between the couples he shoots is even more extraordinary. It took us all of ten minutes to decide we had to have him photograph our special day. Finding out Greg recently relocated from Southern California to Seattle was just the icing on the cake. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, my fiance and I met in Seattle therefore making this a match made in photography heaven.

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Part II: Adventure Love Story

Instead of the usual engagement shoot, our photographer specializes in what he coined as “Adventure Love Stories”. Adventure Love Stories reframe engagement pictures as an excuse to get outside and explore together as a couple while getting to know Greg and documenting the entire weekend or “adventure”. The best part about our weekend was that Eric and I have already spent our last 7 years together exploring the outdoors, going on incredible camping/backpacking trips, and adventuring so this was a huge selling point in choosing Greg to be our photographer. I do have to be honest though, as much as I absolutely love camping and backpacking and as much fun as an adventure sounded I was somewhat anxious about how I was supposed to pull myself together for a weekend photo shoot after camping?! How’s a girl, who’s not that photogenic to begin with, supposed to be photographed with bedhead and after sleeping on the ground all night with day old makeup? It sounds ridiculous and vain, but if you had 200+ photos taken of you, you’d consider this a legitimate fear as well. I obviously decided to suck it up and trust Greg and also figured worst case, no one has to know these photos exist.

Eric and I chose to have our adventure with Greg in one of our favorite places in Washington State, the state that brought us together. And so, two weekends ago we hopped on a plane from San Francisco, drove several hours in the car, and took a ride on a ferry boat to Olympic National Park, and if you haven’t been, consider this your plug that you should immediately plan your trip. Olympic National Park has some seriously wonderful memories for Eric and I so choosing it for our engagement shoot was a no brainer. We have summited its mountains, hiked along its rivers, explored its rugged beaches, and watched the infamous Elwha Dam removal over the years all the while knowing it to be one of the best kept secrets in the country. Naturally, the camping trip turned into a spontaneous backpacking adventure leading us to one of the Olympic Coast’s most beautiful beaches near La Push. This spur of the moment decision also led to hilarious pictures of myself and Eric in formal clothes (including heels mind you) carrying our hiking boots, tent, sleeping bags, and REI backpacks. Note: should you choose to do your own outdoorsy photoshoot, keep in mind that heels, no matter how chunky, are a poor decision.

Lucky for you, I’m here to share a handful of my favorite photos from the weekend. While looking through them just remember we hadn’t showered, we slept on the beach overnight, and my naturally curly hair doesn’t tend to agree with that damn misty coastal climate. Also, huge thanks to Julia for the last minute Tyra Banks modeling tips, without them I would have looked like a limp noodle neck monster.

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15 Ways to Greet a Co-Worker

I think I’ve done like 75% of the above.

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