October Birthdays in Seattle

My New Year’s Resolution this year was to travel more. Between being at university for 5 years, and then immediately jumping into working after graduating, I felt like traveling was something that slipped off my radar over the last few … Continue reading

Fresh Start, Apple-Picking and Classes

I feel like each day feels really long, but the weeks and months go by quickly. Fall and Christmas are two of my favorite seasons, so I am trying to soak up every small moment. I officially had my first … Continue reading

Cranberry Cocktails, Friends, and Holiday Parties,

This past Saturday I hosted a holiday party at my parent’s house. We went to the Crucible Faire in the afternoon so I invited Robert, Annie and Alli over to help tidy the house up for the party. They were a magnificent help and in no time at all we had the place ready for a party!

We had a tasty cranberry lemon cocktail, apple and fig jam crustini’s, a cold pesto pasta salad, bread and cheese tray, cranberry walnut salad, and a shrimp fritatta. People came in their winter best, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Robert took the photos, and as always, did an amazing job.




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2013_12_14_holiday_party-36Earrings: Stella and Dot       Necklace: Apricot Lane

Dress: Macy’s (Sold out)      Shoes: Steve Madden

Have you been going to any holiday parties lately? I love seeing how people dress up for the holidays! Finals finished on Friday (i had all my grades in Thursday!), and I can breathe again!

I am done with all my holiday shopping, and I am now looking forward to playing lots with the pups, playing on the wii and eating yummy things!

Happy Sunday!



A taste of elegance: Chanel

The past few days have been a whirl-wind of rushing from one fun event to the next. Since this weekend was a blast, but left me feeling very low on the energy scale, my best friend Annie has graciously written a guest post for me. Enjoy!


“Wow, you look fancy today,” said one of my favorite fourth period students.

“Yeah,” chimed in another. “Are you going out tonight?”

“No,” I said. “Stop asking awkward questions. Can’t I look alright sometimes?”

“You can,” Student #1 mused. “But you don’t always.”


This is what my morning fashion process looks like now:

1. Get up at the ass crack of dawn, rub off last night’s makeup that I forgot to take off because I fell asleep grading essays.
2. Shower while trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to teach to my first period class. Sometimes forget to use my expensive salon conditioner because I’m going over the difference between predicates and prepositions.
3. Mentally create worksheets as I rifle through a goddamn avalanche of clothing (which is not kept in the closet, but helpfully spread out on the floor should I suddenly collapse from the onset of anemia).

4. Try to remember if I have essays hidden somewhere in my house as I put on the least smelly clothes I have been able to forage. Laundry is a thing that happens once a fiscal quarter.

5. Haphazardly put on makeup as I drive to work, occasionally forgetting that I have only completed work on one eye and being mocked by my students until some angel in fourth period dutifully informs me of my deficiency.

How could this happen to me, to ME? Five years ago, I was living it up at the BCBG New York Fashion Week after party, trying to pretend I was old enough to be drinking. Now, it’s a good week if I don’t wear the same pants three times. But just as things looked their darkest, something new entered my life, something capable of breaking the downward spiral and restoring me to my former glory.


I’m talking about makeup.

I have discovered that one of the secrets of the universe is that even if you have unwashed, flipping-the wrong-way hair, crumpled clothes, and an unfortunate musty odor about your person, this can all by transformed with a coat of red lipstick and dramatic eyeliner. And purple mascara. All of which I now own, courtesy of Chanel.


But wait, I can hear you thinking, Chanel is so pretentiousI can’t afford that! And my response to you is a) yes it is, and b) you can’t afford not to be buying this.

I went to the Chanel counter for makeup trials with a friend, and when I asked her if I should buy the bronzer, she said “I think you can probably get that cheaper somewhere else.” My makeup artist injected here to give my friend the hairy eyeball from up high and said, “Honey, of course you can get it cheaper elsewhere. This is Chanel.” And I scoffed then, thinking this was arrogance at its finest and that she needed to take her product a little less seriously. But when I got home and tried it, I realized why this woman went all Grand Duchess on my friend – Chanel is, quite simply, the best. It stays where you put it until you take it off. It goes on smoothly, silently, and deadly. It does what is promised. And it looks like it’s going to last just as long as they said it would, which is roughly 230,947,202 years.


Here’s what I bought/recommend:

-liquid eyeliner

-red lipstick


-lipliner (I use it as an ombre lip effect and also bottom eyeliner

-purple mascara

My makeup artist also taught me a little trick that has really changed the way I do my makeup. Instead of using eyeliner on your bottom lid edge, you can use a dark brown or dark purple eye shadow and a small brush to gently dot it on. This softens your eye and prevents raccoon eyes or dark circles. I would have bought an eyeshadow palette, but I already have about 20 Lancome eyeshadows at home, many of which are perfect for this use.

Anyway, I hope that this makeup review will help you continue to not do laundry and be lazy about your style choices, just like it has done for me!


Happy Monday! I only have a two-day week, but I am still counting down the hours til my break begins. Are you doing that as well?



Sunday in Capitola

Rather late Saturday night we moved the party to Beach House #2 (BH#2) and continued on very late into the night. I snagged a bed and crashed about 2am, rather late for this old lady who prefers 10pm sharp.

On Sunday I woke up bright and early. Often my internal alarm clock wakes me up when I would rather have slept in. I started on breakfast for the group and enjoyed watching people stumble in, semi-awake. After a while, the group was fed and drowsy. We tidied up the house, and some people took of. The smaller group left for the beach. Annie, Sunny, Huyson and I wandered along the beach, snagging cute photos of each other. We walked around the down-town area and picked up some tasty ice cream. We tidied the house and left for home.

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It was a great weekend.

I wish more were like that, full of sunshine, fresh air and friends. I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving foods next week, it is powering me through this week, knowing next week will be fantastic and full of yummy foods!



Beach Weekend in Capitola

Earlier in the week my best friend Annie had made a Facebook event about a few of us going to Capitola and staying at a combination of two beach houses. Work was stressful and looking forward to spending the weekend at the beach helped me keep it together. For me, having things to look forward to can often make or break a crazy work-week.

Saturday dawned, and I had not yet packed, purchased a camera charger/cord, or filled my tank with gas. Rushing around happened but Annie, Sunny and I finally got on the road after a few setbacks.

There wasn’t much traffic and we arrived in Capitola where it was beautiful. We grabbed groceries and went to the beach. The plan for dinner was cook-out at Marcos’s. We took a hot mess of photos not only at the beach, but also back at Beach House #1 (BH1)

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The crew was: Brady, Sunny, Claire, Dana, Natasha, Annie, Greg #1, Greg #2, Sunny Maxey, Darius, Huyson, Steven, Deawodi, Gloria, Marcos, Irina, Jason and myself. More people came later, but I think this is everyone that was a good sport about being documented in the lovely photos above.

It was the perfect weekend: food, friends, and lots of fun.The beautiful beach never hurts as well!

Hope you had a good weekend!More fun things are planned, but this was the best fun I’ve had this month!




Baking Adventures, Halloween, and New Shoes

It had just been one thing after another this week! Last Sunday, I picked Annie up and we made some tasty things with my new Kitchen Aid Stand mixer.

My new mixer.

My new mixer.

We munched on dim sum while we baked and I had a lot of fun. We made an orange bundt cake, cranberry orange bread, pumpkin bread,  spicy cinnamon pumpkin muffins and blueberry muffins,

Our baking results

Our baking results

Work was busy this week, with two rounds of testing for the teens. We often get home around 6 and often I just want to crawl straight into bed with the pups when I do finally get home.

On Thursday a few of us grabbed italian food for dinner. We got grand total of 3 trick-or-treaters. Quite frankly, I was disappointed we didn’t get more at our new place. But the three that did come, we loaded them up with candy!

My students were sleepy and off task Friday, which was a bummer for them since a lot of work was also due. I stayed later than planned at work getting ready for the next round of CAHSEE next week.

I met up with Annie at ValleyFaire and we shopped! With payday on Thursday I wanted to splurge a bit! I had picked up a treat for myself last weekend, but when I finally opened the little brown Kate Spade bag (most of you know exactly the bag I am talking about!) my new bow bracelet was twisted/bent! So our first stop was Nordstrom’s, where a nice young lady switched it out for a new sparkly one. This is my new bauble!

My new bracelet.

My new bracelet.

I tried on a pair of Uggs because my old pair is so old and well-loved and really not fit for anyone outside of the pups and my roomie’s eyes. Of course, they did not have the correct size for my giant feet, so I settled on ordering them. (Thank goodness Nordstrom’s doesn’t charge for shipping!) Can’t wait for them to arrive!

We wandered over to Sephora,where I picked up a Smashbox eyeliner cream I had been eyeing. I use their Photo Finish Light primer, and i love it!

My primer.

My primer.

It makes my make-up last, and it seems that it make my makeup stick better. I’m normally a warm person, and halfway through the day my make-up is gone. But a friend had recommended this brand, and they are my go-to primer now. I had also heard good things about the eyeliner cream, so we played around with it. I convinced Annie to try some of their products as well, since we have similar type of skin.

Next stop on our shopping spree: shoes, shoes, shoes. I always think of this Kirsty MacColl song that my dad and I listen to. It is called In These Shoes. It is really a fabulous song. You should listen to it.

While Annie got sucked into trying on lipstick at Chanel, I looked at shoes. With my giant feet (and toes) I often have to order shoes, and pray to the shoe gods that they fit. More often than not, I end up returning them because they gape, pinch, or otherwise look odd. I found a pair of Corso Como heels that I liked, and also ordered a pair of black boots by them in the hopes that they fit as well.

The new heels

The new heels

The new boots.

The new boots.

Currently some of my work shoes are not as comfortable as I would like. I am looking forward to having some happier feet.

Sorry for the lack of posts, I was having issues with my laptop suddenly shutting down randomly. I had my tech guy at work do his magic and it seems to be fine now.  I hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday!



An evening with Friends, and Gallery Hopping in the City

On Wednesday, Annie had a few of us over for a casual get-together. We munched on a few things, and sipped margaritas. Our usual crowd was there, and it was just what I needed to finish out my week. Work has been running me pretty ragged, and it was exactly what I needed. My friends are always the cure for anything. We played Cards against Humanity, which is always a blast and very entertaining.


On Thursday, Roomie and I had professional development at our sister school in Hayward. I met the other two art teachers, and had a wonderful time talking shop. As I am the only art teacher at my school, and building my own curriculum, bouncing my ideas off these two guys really helped.

While the rest of the district had a second day of professional development in Hayward, the three of us met up at 111 Minna Gallery for a day of wandering around looking at art galleries.

The weather was warm and sunny, unusual for San Francisco in October. We drifted from 111 Minna to the Academy of Art, and stumbled into a ancient five story building with a multiple small galleries on each floor.

We grabbed a bite to eat at Le Boulanger on Market and walked over to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. They had a beautiful exhibit. I snapped these there


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My favorite piece at Yerba Buena was tucked into the room in the front called the Room of Big Ideas. I loved the wall that was there. I wanted to take it home with me.

I loved that last line, so I took a picture of just that. Sometimes it is very hard to live in the moment, to feel everything around me. But this wall, this wall reminded me of why.

From there we sat in the garden, and took in the glorious weather.




We walked back to Minna and parted ways. I walked over to Nordstrom’s, where a girl from my small group at church works in the Fine Jewelry floor. We chatted for a while, and then I realised what time it was. I dashed over to the Kate Spade section, and treated myself to a little something!

I ran errands today, and tidied up around the house. Last weekend my family and I celebrated my birthday. My parents gave me a stand mixer!!! So, tomorrow I plan on baking up a storm! Annie is coming over and we are tackling a long list of yummy treats! Tomorrow I’ll show you what I picked up from Nordstrom’s and whatever tasty things we bake!

I hope you have some exciting plans for tonight!  Saturdays are always the best night to have a little fun.




Reunited at last!

For the past three months, one of my friends has been living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She flew home yesterday and we grabbed lunch and gabbed like little birds. We got our nails done and did a bit of boutique jewelry shopping. I picked up a new bangle by Stella and Dot. It’s made by the same company that also makes J. Crew’s bangles, a little tidbit the cashier at Therapy mentioned when I purchased it.

There is something so polished about having your nails done. I’m not sure exactly how, but my outfits feel that much more pulled together when I have cute nails. Illogical, I know. But it’s every little bit true.

I also had fun wearing my new J. Crew flats that I bought a few weeks back. Aren’t they adorable?

I have the gold capped ones and they fit so perfectly!

I had been wanting to bust them out on a fun occasional but nothing had really fit the bill. So, I wore them the whole day and they didn’t give me any blisters, which was surprising since my other J.Crew wedges gave me insane ones earlier this summer.

These are the ones that gave me blisters, but in Navy!


Anyway, happy Tuesday!