Fashion is a Way of Expressing Yourself.

I love clothes.  Growing up I paid a lot of attention to clothes, mimicked my favorites (Emily Ledford and Allison Toskovich) and then eventually sort of found my own style and preferences, navigating through things I like and things I don’t. Fast forward to 2019– I have currently gone two and a half years without purchasing clothes, and Iโ€™m absurdly proud of it. ๐Ÿ˜Ž I wish I could say this decision was in the name of a noble cause or waste-reducing efforts, but itโ€™s really just out of necessity. Iโ€™m heading to grad school; turns out thatโ€™s expensive. 

Going without buying clothes has been really healthy for me. I have realized that alas, I don’t need much.  I feel like I have also stopped paying quite as much attention to them on other people. I think this is healthy progress, because clothes are fun, but they donโ€™t matter.  Itโ€™s a conundrum- clothes are a great conversation piece and itโ€™s always fun to give out a big sartorial compliment, but it can also distract you from getting to know someone and giving them due credit for the things that make them real people.  (In that way I sometimes think that blind people have a big advantage in life- like they are actually incapable of getting caught up in these things).   

But it’s been difficult for me, because…fashion is a way of expressing myself! and I have been hungry to find other ways to do that ever since the end of my clothes buying days. 

Here are some of the clothes I like.  I like fun clothes with weird things on them and gold sequins.  I really love a rich bright green and I canโ€™t imagine my life without solid red clothes in it. I love red, I look amazing in it, and it is my identity. Also of interest, on the topic of clothes, I went through an unfortunate polka dot phase and I have made my fair share of poor sartorial decisions. Withhold some judgment here and Iโ€™ll do the same for you. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Here is my pinterest board, if youโ€™re interested.  I hope you found some inspiration in here!  Or just a quick break from work. Have a perfect 4th. โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

San Francisco Bay Part 3

Hi and welcome! How are you?!

Lest you think that I didn’t sufficiently love on and take pictures of San Francisco when I lived there, here are a few gems for you. Above is a street in the Financial District, or the ‘FiDi’, as tourists call it ๐Ÿ™ƒ. The Financial District is where the TransAmerica building is, beautiful hotels, finance obviously, and the Ferry Building. I really love that part of town. It feels like Downtown New York.

Here is a picture of Russian Hill, facing west from Coit Tower. You can see a little bit of the Golden Gate bridge is in the far right corner. Pretty, right?

The Palace of Fine Arts on a beautiful day.

Eaaarly morning workouts.

Instagram lemmings ๐Ÿ™ƒ. Which picture is better- an actual sunrise, or this picture of us cool millennials?

In San Francisco, the word ‘innovation’ will never go away or leave you alone.

Across the street from the Palace of Fine Arts. You can’t see it in this picture, but there is a big grand piano in that bay window on the left. Yes, please.

Just the right sized gathering. Just the right fantastic people.

This backs right up to the Palace of Fine Arts. Not too shabby.

The Conservatory of Flowers.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜ƒ, hope you’ve got a great holiday week ahead, and that your trip to the Bay is booked!

The Bae

Ok, so I wrote about San Francisco, but while I was in the Bay, I actually lived in Palo Alto for three of my four years.

Here are some of the things that make Palo Alto unique:

-The perfect, predictable weather: Palo Alto weather is divine year-round. Honestly, it is gorgeous.

-Driving the 280 (sidenote- I *cannot* believe the GW parkway didn’t make this list! I can’t get enough of the southern piece of that road.)

-The Palo Alto gnarlies.

-Stanford campus and sports. My mom and dad met there and I like to imagine the details of those dating days.

Bowman School , where I used to work. A really special place.

-The food at Google.

Radio Eden

-Radio Eden, funnest hacker house of all time (a hacker house is where interns in need of short term housing come and stay by the week–mostly programmers). I have never known such a genius, geeky, progressive, diverse, thoughtful, inclusive, and hilarious group of people. My people.

-Patxi’s deep dish pizza, where I used to work. The loyal customers, and the fun staff, the never ending patron stories. That’s where we watched Golden State win the 2017 championship. Hugging and high fiving favorite patrons and strangers after a Golden State win is my favorite pastime.

-University Avenue. -The year round lights on at night and pristine Palo Alto style restaurants. The sweet little man outside Walgreen’s every time. I love this street.

Ada’s, a restaurant that employs people with special needs. I will pay a lot of money there, mostly to talk to the sweet cashier.

-Magical Bridge playground, especially going there with my ridiculous middle school kids. It’s the best playground I’ve been to.

-AR/VR companies. Cool tech stores- there’s a b8ta store in downtown Palo Alto that I fell in love with.

-How there are almost no school buses in Palo Alto- everyone bikes and walks, and young kids mostly walk or bike to their friends houses. Knock on wood, Palo Alto is a safe place to raise kids. I can’t tell you how much I love seeing that.

-The gorgeous houses and landscaping in Professorville Palo Alto. Lucky me, I used to live there.

-The parks in East Palo Alto. Spikeball.

-Pools, lots of them and they are open and outdoor through most of the fall and spring because it’s warm enough.

Around the bay:

-Big Basin Campgrounds. Banana slugs.

-The beaches, especially Santa Cruz. It’s an easy day trip from Palo Alto.

-Orinda, where my mom grew up. Nation’s burgers.

-Yosemite.

-(snow) Skiing in Tahoe.

-Donner Lake. I’ve actually never been to Tahoe in the summer, but Donner Lake is less crowded.

So these are the Palo Alto things I can think of. I hope you get a chance to visit the Bay! and that you are getting ready for a good weekend.

San Francisco

Earlier I mentioned the corruption that I ran into in San Francisco (I think it’s pretty rampant, especially in the startup scene), BUT since moving to Utah I’ve actually visited the Bay a few times, to take care of a family and work with a nonprofit. In spite of the cost (or perhaps *because* of the cost), it is such an incredible place, with such a rare concentration of learning, entertainment, and hard-working, fascinating people. Here are the things I took from San Francisco.

-Most locals just call it ‘the city’.

-Also, I have never heard people from California call it ‘Cali’.

Some things I love about San Francisco:

Dogpatch. The weather in San Francisco is unpredictable and often crummy, foggy, and cold. Technically the weather there is called ‘micro-climates’, and Karl the Fog owns and roams the city. Fortunately, you can dodge all of this by living in Dogpatch. Dog Patch resident swag says: ‘the Sun Always Shines in Dogpatch.’ and it’s true.

-The art shows and open mic nights. Talent, talent, talent.

-People-watching. Everywhere, but Dolores Park is probably my fave place for it.

-The diversity, especially the sizeable population of Asian Americans, Turkish Americans, and European Americans. Some of my best friends.

-Pride, lots of progressive families and acceptance.

-Hearing any number of languages walking down the street.

-The monks in Chinatown.

Bay to Breakers. Full disclosure: I’ve never been, but I want to go if I’m in town again.

-That you can find any type of food you want. ANYTHING. I’m not an expert but I have a few recommendations if you’re interested. In my opinion, the food scene is right up there with New York.

-The street markets.

-The Exxon Mobil building where I took General Assembly  classes in Downtown San Francisco. It’s where my grandpa spent his career and I like to imagine what he was like then.

-The apps – lots of cool ideas, even if they don’t go viral.

-Watching everyone whip out their laptops and work on their programming on Caltrain. Oh, how I want to be one of them.

-Running into everyone you know in the city! San Francisco is a very small town.

-All the weird tech gizmos people are constantly trying. San Francisco is like living in the futures. It is a solid five years ahead of the game.

-The Recycling. I didn’t realize how much I missed that until I moved away. San Francisco takes minimizing waste SERIOUSLY.

-The gnarly trees in Golden Gate park.

-The outdoor piano festival in Golden Gate park. YES a million times over.

-The trolleys in SF.

Pretentious, self-important techies; Startups that feel like cults; World-saving corporate jargon/Koolaid. I have learned to love making light of the weird world of SF and tech bros.

-The Tonga room at the Fairmont Hotel. It’s a fun spot.

-Union square, especially with the Christmas tree and all the lights at night in December.

-The remarkable combination of the artistic radical old San Francisco, the new young blood in tech, and that classy feeling you get in the pristine parts of the city. There is definitely some resentment in the older community- people who have been there a while and don’t like the changes- but I actually loved the combination. The city is changing fast and I hope the art stays intact.

-Biking the Embarcadero.

-Fun fact- In 1846, a contingent of Mormons led by Sam Brannon sailed around South America and settled in San Francisco. Other Mormon contingents crossed American to flee persecution and ended up in Utah. Sam Brannon wanted to bring all the Mormons to settle San Francisco, but Brigham Young had no interest in that, so Salt Lake became and remains Zion/Mecca. Sam Brannon stayed in the Bay and built the Indian Springs Resort up in Calistoga. Brannon street in Soma is named after him.

-Speaking of history, the walking tours in San Francisco are really fun. I have done this one , but I’d really like to do all of them.

-Caltrain on the peninsula includes a *lot* of bikers. Although the ticket itself costs an arm and a leg, it makes the long commute between SF and Palo Alto doable, if your work or house isn’t in walking distance of Caltrain. I actually really liked that commute and bicycle ride to work, but it’s loong.

November Project. Great people, even if I can’t really keep up with them. Even if you’re out of shape or not much of an athlete- it is an *everyone* place, so just show up.

Here is another post I found that I think does justice to San Francisco.

I both love and hate you San Francisco!

Feel free to share your San Francisco gems and stories with me. Hope your week is off to a great start.

Hi! again.

How are you?

Are you lovin on summer and lemonade and the pool? So here I am giving this blog thing a real go, hoping to create a place that sparks a healthy little contagious fire, with good ideas and a good vibe. Feel free to stick with me– this is something I really love. Since I’m back at it, here are my efforts at introducing myself. I feel like I am a bit of a chameleon and sometimes I don’t really know how to introduce myself, but, here goes.

  1. I was born and raised in Vienna, Virginia. The town I’m from is, in fact, the best place in the world. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
  2. Although the picture on top of my blog is Austin, I’m currently living with family in Utah, recovering from my brief stint in the corrupt cesspool that is San Francisco.
  3. I’m the fifth of six. We’re Mormon, not Catholic.
  4. My little sister works at a restaurant and my older siblings are software, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineers.
  5. I’m a full-time blogger. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚ Just kidding! I’m an eternal student of product design, *potentially* heading to grad school in the fall.

That is my super quick and dirty intro. More to come, should you be interested. ๐Ÿ˜ŠWishing you a great start to your weekend!