Tag Archives: San Francisco

Review: Jen Kirkman in SF

Since I moved up to the city, I decided that I don’t have a lot of excuses to avoid social outings on weeknights anymore. I’ve said “Yes!” to a lot of things and it has made me pretty busy, but more importantly – balanced. I’ve been a workaholic for the majority of my life and when I’m not working, I’m blogging, but sometimes to blog – I need to be doing other things as well. Would you believe that I’ve never been to a comedy show before? So I have been to an improv show in New York City on my trip with Mandi, but that’s a little different. Recently, I was invited to see Jen Kirkman at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco and after checking my social calendar and seeing I was free, I decided to bring along a couple of friends with me for the ride. San Francisco was the first stop on her tour so that combined with this being my first show made me very excited.

The experience was very educational. First off, I didn’t know there was going to be a two drink minimum. At my age, I would say that’s a little aggressive especially on a week night, but whatever. I knew that you couldn’t record, but learned that you also couldn’t take photos. Jen, however, gave us all permission to do so!

Since I don’t know too much about the comedy world, I’m sad to admit that I didn’t know a lot about Jen Kirkman beforehand. I did some research though. Jen previously worked with Chelsea Handler on her show, has several Netflix specials and is getting ready for her next one, and is a liberal that hates getting dumped. My GIRL! I’m not sure if this is the standard, but she ran through her agenda with us at the start of all the topics she would cover and I kind of liked that. I found myself looking forward to some topics and kind of building up that anticipation for it. 2017 has been a hard year y’all. The stuff going on in our country right now is very uncool. It’s stressful, irritating, and frustrating, but that doesn’t even begin to describe it. What I appreciated out of Jen’s show last night was her touching on these things. She was very direct on how she felt and even though the real life situation is very unfunny, she made it a lot better with one evening.

Jen will be on her “All New Material Girl” tour the rest of the season so if you’re interested, check out her upcoming cities and buy yourself a ticket.

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What I Learned: Finding a Place to Rent in SF

There are many reasons to not live in San Francisco. Let me tell you about the ones that have been told to me:

  • rent is too high / generally everything is too expensive
  • you can’t live there without roommates
  • there’s no need for a car there
  • it’s dirty / it smells

Up until this year, I was perfectly content with living in South Bay. For the most part, I was near my workplace, my friends, my errands and my routine. I had made a life for myself there that I was comfortable with. When I changed jobs earlier this year though with my new office being in the city, it was a huge adjustment for me. I went from having a 30 minute round trip commute to a two-hour one. I tried to rationalize. Well, I really like driving! I may not like road trips, but I’m a morning person anyways and I don’t mind driving on I-280. It’s SO pretty!

I rationalized until I couldn’t anymore. 2017 was a big year of changes for me so why not add one more to the mix – new city / new home? I was ready for a complete fresh start. Having lived in the Bay Area for nearly four years at this point, I felt like I had a good starting point. I knew exactly what I wanted in a new home and I wasn’t going to settle. I’d also spent a lot of time doing research too so while others told me to brace myself for 1-2 months of searching, I was out to prove people wrong. So yes, it is possible to find a place in one week!

Just like a job description, I broke things out into my Must Haves and Nice-t0-Haves.

Must have: 

  • washer/dryer in-unit
  • not a ground floor unit
  • safe neighborhood
  • short commute to work
  • lot of natural sunlight – no basement units allowed

Nice-to-have:

  • dishwasher
  • wood floors
  • top floor unit
  • parking spot
  • rent-controlled
  • some utilities paid

When I shared with some friends these requirements, I got a lot of smirky “good lucks!” And I get it, people have lived here for some amount of time and they’ve gone through their fair share of apartment hunting so it hasn’t always been easy. In total, I looked at five different places and the neighborhoods that I considered were: Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, Cole Valley, Bernal Heights, Hayes Valley, Noe Valley, Alamo Square, Pacific Heights, and Laurel Heights. I’m also willing to acknowledge that while I’m writing this and making this “look easy,” I came across a few places that were a bit of a disaster.

The first apartment I checked out, I found through Apartment List. I spent one of my weekend days prior to checking out places making an account with the site listing all of these requirements (and more!) and a few results came up for me. It paired me with someone who was a rep from RentSFNow, which I hadn’t heard too much about it. I’ll also note that for all of my visits, I always brought a friend. The apartment that I was shown was beautiful. It had more than enough room for me, was on a higher floor, had its own walk-in-closet and since it was my first one, I almost let that sway me too much. I got so excited that I was willing to settle because I had heard how difficult it could be to find a place so why not end my search at number 1? However, after I spent some more time on it, I realized I didn’t exactly trust my rep when she told me she didn’t have the key to the laundry room especially when I had seen the apartment on other listings saying it had no laundry. I realized that while the apartment was spacious, it had too much space that I didn’t need. It also didn’t help that it was on the busiest and loudest street.

What this process was beginning to teach me was that there are things that I could think that I really need initially, but also a handful of things that I can definitely live without. I’ll spare you the details of every other place that I visited, but I will say that I visited a place in Hayes Valley that had zero closet space at all (that was an immediate no) an in-law-unit of a beautiful house with an entrance that started from the garage and had no sunlight coming in at all. I even ran into a Craigslist scam. It wouldn’t be apartment hunting in SF without one of those! Rent in SF is expensive and we all have to make sacrifices, but at the end of the day, you have to make the best choice for you and your lifestyle. The things I gave up? Just one – the washer/dryer in unit, but what I was able to get in return? Living a block away from my best friend, a parking spot free-of-charge, top floor unit, walking distance to my favorite neighborhoods, and a few more.

In 2017, Craigslist is still the preferred method of choice for finding a place. It isn’t easy and there’s a lot of noise, but you have to remain persistent. Every night after work, I spent about a week and a half looking at the most recent posts for all of the neighborhoods I listed. It was exhausting and at times I didn’t feel like it was the best use of my time, but it ultimately led me to where I landed.

People also will tell you that you need to bring folders with you that include ALL of your information. I did this and I’m glad I learned how to prepare one, but I didn’t end up having to use it! I’m more than a month into living at my new spot, but it feels like I’ve been living here for much longer. If I had to pick between searching and moving in this process, the actual moving was probably the worst with the searching being the most fun and adventurous. Friends love to help you find a place, but ain’t nobody trying to sign up to help you move.

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The Cream Event

Whenever the topic of conversation lands on weddings, my friends always say the same thing, “I love weddings. They are SO much fun, but so incredibly expensive especially if you are a part of them.” Now, this isn’t new to any of you. Weddings are expensive. This industry is sometimes madness to me and while I have shelled out quite a bit of $$$ for my friends, I can’t help, but do it out of love and knowing the fact that if it were me in their shoes, they would do the same for me.

This year, Bash Please brought their wedding expo to San Francisco for the first time and there was no way I was going to miss it. I’d been following them for years and have loved all of their ideas from previous weddings so I knew that their vendors at the event would be top notch and that it would feel like attending another wedding myself! I think a lot of my girlfriends would have loved to come to something like this, but the one girlfriend of mine that I wanted to take more than ever was Elisa. She got married just a couple of months after we went to the expo and was having a very small wedding in Mendocino, which meant that a lot of these vendors wouldn’t actually be a need for her. Regardless, I wanted her to still go through this experience and have fun with it! We sampled some of the best hors d’oeuvres and desserts, drank from four different kinds of cocktails, spent some time in the photo booth (a favorite of ours!) and got down on the dance floor. Side note, I entered the dance contest with my friend Kim and we got out in the first round. It wasn’t our finest moment, but like – were we even really given a fair chance?!

We were greeted with these refreshing Agua Fresca’s the minute we stepped foot into the venue. How cute are these little mini milk containers?

at the Bentley Reserve in San Francisco

Savory sorbets for an appetizer!

The prettiest dining table set up we ever did see

Overall, Elisa and I had a blast. We hope that The Cream event returns to San Francisco in 2018 because we will definitely be there. For those of you wondering if you can still attend an expo without being engaged, the answer is yes! No one is asking your status so go just for the fun.

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A Trip to the Color Factory!

I was introduced to the Color Factory in mid-July about a couple weeks before the actual opening through a press email. The Pop-Up was organized by Oh Happy Day– a team of creatives that I’d been following for years. They’re famous for all of their DIY ideas and in general just bringing more color and happiness to things. When I heard that they were behind this project and collaborating with other well-known artists in this space, including Geronimo Balloons, I didn’t even bother trying to dig for more information. I bought the tickets the first chance I got and for Day 1!

By the time it opened officially, they were completely sold out for the month of August. Interestingly enough, they only planned to be open for one month, but decided to extend through September because of demand. Personally, I love things like this. Not only is it something to do, but it’s fun to be a part of a pop-up experience! The collaborators put so much work into it and it’s beautiful. People of all ages will love it. In a way it’s sort of like a giant playground for adults.

Here’s what I love about it:

  • When you get tickets, you select a designated time and you need to arrive within 30 minutes of your window in order to get in. This really stressed me out because it was the first day and trying to rush there in San Francisco traffic, I wasn’t confident if I could make it. It ended up working out and the reason why they do this probably is to control the crowds. During each half hour, they know how many people are actually going through the pop-up. The best part is that it never got too crowded! I could get the pictures that I wanted and I didn’t feel rushed. I could just go at my own pace.
  • It can be educational. Each piece has a little description and a note about the artist so that you can learn as you go along.
  • It’s interactive! There’s a lot that you can see, but you’re also taking part as the creator too.
  • Going through the pop-up takes about an hour, which I think is pretty decent for the ticket price. I heard the Museum of Ice Cream takes around 30 minutes, which doesn’t seem very long to me.
  • Everyone is so friendly! The staff was so incredibly nice and you can just tell that they’re having a great time with you. There’s a lot of love and passion that went into making this for the people of San Francisco.
  • There are designated areas within the pop-up that allow you to take photos hands-free! All you have to do is get a photo card when you arrive and program it with your name and email address and then at these spots, you would scan your card and then a timer will count down until it takes your photo. It’s great because you don’t have to take a bunch of selfies and you can do group photos altogether. The area where they can improve is probably being a little bit more clear about where to stand in the photo so as to not include other people or be off center.

Things that could be better:

  • The snacks throughout are a nice touch, but it’s not a lot. It’s no Museum of Ice Cream. You’re not really going for the food anyways.
  • It can be pricey! It’s a fun experience for sure, but ticket prices are higher than what I thought they’d be.
  • When I said earlier that it’s a giant playground, I really meant it. As cool as this pop-up is, I imagine that there’s a lot of germs around because you’re touching so many things, you’re even doing a scratch and sniff and there’s a ball pit. Maybe… take a shower when you get home.
  • It’s sold out already and you have to put your name down for September. :(

Also – just to note, this place is a Boomerang heaven! I actually ended up taking more Boomerangs than photos and the reason why I’m limiting some of them here is because I think you should go and see it for yourself! I definitely don’t want to spoil it for you. Don’t make the same mistake that I did though. On your way out, you can continue the “color tour” by picking up a map that will take you to other colorful spots all around San Francisco in conjunction with The Color Factory opening!

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SF Eats: Flour + Water

Wowowow new title because we live in San Francisco now! Truth though – Flour + Water has always been in San Francisco so that hasn’t changed. The first time I ever ate at Flour + Water, my friends had made a reservation for a late Sunday evening dinner a month in advance. I’ve pretty much been an early bird all my life and on Sundays, I like to eat dinner at 4PM! Since my first instance was a reservation so far in advance, the impression I got was – wow this is some serious San Francisco restaurant. It is, but there are ways around it so that you can at the restaurant WHEN you want.

My office is nearby and by a stroke of luck, I happened to come upon the restaurant with Leslie right when it had opened on Friday at 5:30 PM. We were seated right away at a communal table. If you’re a lover of delicious pasta, you need to make your way here. I’m convinced that I’ve never had a bad dish here and you know what? I’m convinced that eating there at 5:30 PM on a Friday tastes much better than waiting a month to eat there on a Sunday at 8PM. The menu is always changing – likely by season – so it’s fun to try all of their new dishes.

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A Collection Part 48

48 posts and counting! I’m convinced that writer’s block is a thing that happens to everyone. I can still remember being in college and becoming upset at myself when I knew I had waited until the last minute to complete a paper. Typical. Writing always came easily when it wasn’t out of desperation and when it wasn’t at a time that I needed it the most. These “A Collection” posts are my favorite because they don’t ever require writing, but I like to write a little piece to go along with it anyways. It’s nice to just sift through a bunch of images and decide on the spot if I want to include them or not. I will usually know within a second and if I’m thinking about one for too long, that might also mean something too. I like to think that all of the images represent the mood that I’m in or a period in my life. I never actually write out the exact feeling at that moment and we’re completely okay with that. If you read into these a bit though, you can always sense a type of pattern.

Enjoy!

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Chambray and Blue

Chambray – Canyon Child / Turtleneck + Skort – Aritzia / Keds

It’s funny sometimes that I can look back at some of my photos and remember exactly what I was feeling that day and the emotions that were running through me. Sometimes it’s plain as day written across my face, but other times there are instances where I may be feeling nervous or anxious and either I can hide that well when being shot, or it’s very visible in photos and you can tell that I’m uncomfortable.

This one is a good one though! During my time off before working, I met Leslie down by the Embarcadero for lunch at one of our favorite spots – Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Ferry Building. Okay, we’ve been there twice, but we love it so now it’s our thing. Having that time off is something that I’ll always tell people was the best thing ever for me. It felt great to not have to worry about the responsibilities of work in a current job or even a future job yet until you start. I remember waking up every morning for two weeks feeling energized and able to look forward to something that could be exciting for me. I was the happiest I’d been in a long time and it completely shows in this photo. Thanks Leslie for capturing me at one of my best moments!

As for details on the outfit… I really took a shot in the dark with this one! I wasn’t inspired by anything I saw and I had never put something like this together. That turtleneck is my favorite piece ever and I combined it with another Aritzia skort. San Francisco, especially down by the water) can be pretty chilly and windy at times so instead of opting for a light jacket, I threw on my favorite chambray from Gelesia’s line “Canyon Child.” Not wanting to be too dressy in boots or heels, I decided to casual it up with my Keds. Overall, this color combo just works.

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Color Factory in SF

photo cred | Curbed

One of the things that I’m looking forward to most about living in San Francisco is the opportunity to hit up all the events I’ve always wanted to go to! Living in South Bay, it was sometimes an inconvenience to drive up here on the weekends or stay late after work for an event, but now that won’t be an issue.

Since LA debuted their Museum of Ice Cream, I was extremely jealous that we didn’t have something like that here. Starting in August though, San Francisco will be in for a treat with the opening of “Color Factory!” Organized by the team behind Oh Happy Day and in collaboration with Jacob Dahlgren, Tom Stayte, Geronimo Balloons, Tosha Stimage, Andrew Neyer & Andy J. Miller, Jessica Hische, Carissa Potter, Randi Brookman Harris, and Stanton Jones, Color Factory will be an exhibition celebrating color and material featuring 15 pieces of work by the listed artists!

I don’t want to spill too much of what you can expect, but here’s a little teaser: a giant yellow ball pit, filled with 207,000 balls, a seven-foot lazy susan, serving technicolor treats from Chantal Guillon, Craftsman and Wolves, and Doughbies, a confetti room where visitors can experience the inside of a rainbow snow globe, and an all-yellow gift shop, with soft serve from Garden Creamery on tap, in a variety of yellow flavors. An entire exhibit with fun, color, amazing backdrops for your Insta, AND food?! What more could a girl ask for?

The Color Factory opens August 1st and you can begin buying your tickets here. I’m told they’re already starting to sell out so get yours soon for $32 a pop! I’m headed there opening night so standby for my own review of the exhibit and check out my Instagram August 1st for my immediate highlights on Instagram Stories.

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Everlane To Open Brick-and-Mortar Flagship

I recently discovered about a month ago the Everlane pop-up shop just a few blocks from my work. It was the best thing to ever happen to my life and the worst thing that will ever happen to my wallet. I’m not unfamiliar with the brand. I actually went to one of their events a couple of years ago when they let people come into their space and mingle with other locals while sort of trying to shop. The event was, as you expect, a room full of people dressed to the nines. I was convinced that everyone there was probably the most fashionable people in the city minus me. Since that event, I would check Everlane’s website every now and then, but didn’t feel brave enough to take the plunge. That was…until I discovered their pop up so close to me! My first purchase? The Cotton Long Sleeve Crew in Rhubarb and just for $25!

So with a couple of pop ups under their belt, the brand is now ready to take on a brick-and-mortar flagship. All week, they’ve been prepping their customers for the news and looking to hire! The new store will be located at 461 Valencia Street (still in the Mission district!) A date hasn’t been released yet for when the shop will open, but we know it will be nothing short of amazing.

[Source]

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Officially A San Francisco Resident

Someone asked me today how my blog was going and I actually couldn’t even remember the last time I had written a post. Don’t worry, the dashboard says July 9th. Since you last heard from me, I celebrated Jennie’s Bachelorette Party in Disney Land (more photos to come!) and officially moved myself up to San Francisco. It has been a hectic two weekends, but we made it you guys. All in one piece.

Looking back, I had predicted that my move from Seattle to the Bay Area was going to be tougher, but it was actually the move from Sunnyvale to San Francisco that turned out to be the most challenging! I’ve acquired many more things over the last four years and I hate to admit this, but I’m not very good at throwing things away though I am improving. Also moving is expensive. It was my first time hiring movers and even though you think packing as much as you can into boxes will save you time, it won’t save you THAT much time. There’s also something ridiculous in California called DDT (Double Drive Time) and it basically means that if it takes you 15 minutes to get from Point A to Point B, they’ll charge you as if it’s 30 minutes. It doesn’t make sense, but you can’t dispute it. Whatever.

The point is…I got here and with the help of my brother who has now helped me with TWO moves. I have slept here for a total of four nights so far and I’m still not used to it. The adjustment to living in the city after being in the suburbs is going smoother than expected. I’ve already had a few friends visit me, which helps me to feel more comfortable with this transition everyday, but still wondering how I’m going to spend my extra time not commuting anymore. It means I can go home and think about making dinner – keyword here is think because it’s likely I won’t cook for the first month. There’s a lot left that I need to do that involves moving so those will be my errands on the weekends. I’m also looking forward to getting to know my new neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods. Should I share my favorite spots?!

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Yow Yow! at the SFMOMA

Top – Abercrombie & Fitch / Duster – Azalea / Jeggings – Uniqlo / Boots – J. Crew

The time in between when I left my last job and when I started my current job was the most calming and peaceful experience I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to share more about that later on with you. I had been wanting to check out the newly opened SFMOMA for quite some time, but never could find the opportunity to until I realized that I no longer had to work away all my weekends. Wenwen was a member of the museum so she took Leah and I one afternoon and it was so much fun! Growing up, I always loved going to museums. They were my favorite kind of field trips and because my father is an artist, I naturally grew up with art around me.

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I’m Moving…Again!

Don’t worry – I’m not moving too far! Just about 45 miles north to San Francisco. I was searching through my archives to try and find the post I wrote when I left Seattle for the Bay Area and couldn’t find it, which is probably just a sign from the universe telling me that this isn’t really that big of a deal. I’ve lived in my current home for nearly four years so saying goodbye is challenging for me. On top of that, I’m not someone that loves change. When I first moved to Sunnyvale, I got really lucky with the apartment that I received. It was perfect for me in terms of location, amenities, space, etc. As long as I was working close by, I was never going to leave. However, that all changed this past spring when I took a new job in the city. For three months I convinced myself that my hour long commute each way “wasn’t so bad.” Over time, I actually got used to it! I carpooled with Elisa and when we weren’t together, I listened to my music and got myself excited for work each morning or ready to wind down in the evenings. After three months, I knew that my lease would be wrapping and that it was now a suitable time to move on from this home of mine.

People ask me all the time how I like working in the city or if I’m excited to live there. I don’t have a good response for them! I’m moving up there solely for work and as much as I enjoy SF, I would still be just as happy living in South Bay. I used to think that since I lived in downtown Seattle previously that I would never really care to live in a city again and while that sounds pretty Negative Nancy of me, I want to let you know that when I move up there, I fully intend to embrace this new lifestyle of mine. What I’m looking forward to most is a) having more time back, b) not commuting really, c) experiencing my new neighborhood and d) living very close to Mandi.

In my next post, I’ll share with you more details about my house hunting, which surprisingly wasn’t as painful as everyone says. :) I think I just got lucky!

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Museum of Craft and Design

My friend Megan was in town for a felt exhibition by Janice Arnold at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco. With an extra invite in her pocket for the opening, I didn’t think this was something that I could actually turn down. I was so curious and of course I knew of felt because of the material, but had never really dove much deeper than that. The exhibit itself, felt like a dream. Everything was beautiful, light, and incredibly delicate. The felt hung overhead like canopies  – the most beautiful canopies you would have ever seen. I love this photo above because you can see how fort-like it looks, but also how very pretty it all is.

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Beautiful Bernal Heights

Y’all! Happy long weekend! I’m so #blessed to be able to have four straight days off (sort of!) I’m doing some light work email only because I am working one day next week and taking that much time off feels very unproductive to me. What is everyone up to? Other than spending the entire day blogging, I’m beginning to start my move up to the city. The boxes have been taken home and instead of physically packing, I’m still in the stage of making mental notes about what I’m actually going to be packing. Let’s just call that… “progress” k? Back in February, my dearest friend Megan came for a visit and we spent the weekend exploring different parts of the Bay Area. Every time my friends visit, I try to go to one new place so that we can both experience something together. In the years of my living here, I had never been to the top of Bernal Heights. The view really is as magnificent as it looks and it’s just a short hike up to the top.

Turtleneck – Aritzia / Dress – Brandy Melville / Socks – Uniqlo / Boots – J. Crew / Sunglasses – Kate Spade

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Neapolitan

Sweater – Madewell / Cardigan – Oak + Fort / Leggings – Aritzia / Socks – Uniqlo  / Boots – J. Crew

The minute I saw this wall, all I could think of was Neapolitan ice cream! It was never my favorite growing up, but what a color palette right? I wore this during a San Francisco winter day that wasn’t so blistery for a day of shopping and a movie… another personal uniform of mine! We’re gearing up for a move to San Francisco next month (more on that soon!) and I can’t wait to have all the backdrops of the city ready for me!

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