One To Nothin'

Perks of Not Being a Wife or Mom

The feeling when... when you wake up closer to 30 than 20 and your fridge is covered not just in wedding save the dates, but baby announcements. I’m turning the big 2-8 in a few weeks, and while sometimes it feels like I didn’t get the “we’re grown ups now” memo, other times, the self-indulgent, because-I-can, f*ck yea times, are pretty fantastic.  
When I  splurge on sushi dinners because a) I’m not on a wedding diet b) I’m not saving up for a honeymoon and c) I don’t have to buy diapers. Those times I book impulsive out-of-country flights because I literally have no one I need to consult about finances with.  
The times I have too many glasses of wine and can sleep it off the next morning because only my dog can judge me. When I wander into Nordstrom while my car is getting washed and buy all the clothes because, again, I don’t have to send a little human to college any time soon. Don’t get me wrong, hopefully one of these days I will be joy crying as I announce to you internet friends that I’m engaged or preggo, but as for now? It’s my selfish time to do me.  
I work hard at life despite not maintaining a marriage or family. I make money, I exercise, I cook and sometimes I get burnt out, so I make time for the things I love. The self-care things that keep me from going crazy or dwelling on what I don’t have (sometimes I get impatient—biological clocks are a bitch, am I right?). Things like going to concerts and music festivals, traveling just for funsies, reading (whether it’s the cutest graphic novel of my life or ALL the Audible books), painting my nails, drinking wine and obviously doing all these things with my girlfriends


Human connection is one of the most precious things in life, and I haven’t always recognized the true value of it. Since moving to Cali and meeting SO many different people, I’ve come to realize just how important it is to open up, be real and just hang out with other humans. We’re all in this together, and we’re not all on the same path. Not everyone of a certain age needs a ring on their finger or a fetus in their belly. Not everyone needs to work in an office or earn a college degree. But we all do need to make room and time to love ourselves and others.  
I am so grateful for the friends I’ve found all over the country, but especially the ones who make my life infinitely better every day on the West Coast. Oh, and of course that fluffy sausage pup who has been my #1 for seven years now. Isn’t she a model?! 





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Day Drinking for America


Happy Independence Day!
When I first started working in a big Silicon Valley office with a latte machine and beers on tap, I was terrified. Of course I was stoked to be there (and working with bloggers no less), but every time I’d have to go to the bathroom or kitchen, I’d get a jolt of anxiety. Not only did I not know anyone’s names, but I was actually scared that I would get lost and be wandering around the office like an idiot.
Luckily it was only a few weeks before Devyn started working there and sat at the desk right next to mine. She immediately became my extroverted counterpart, my number one confidante and the easiest way to connect with people since she can literally talk to anyone. She quickly transformed from my work BFF to one of my best friends IRL too. We spent about a year sitting next to each other, constantly typing to each other on Skype and taking our time together for granted. 
I was so bummed when I had to switch teams and move desks, but at least I could still see her every day at lunch... then I left for a better job opportunity (or so I thought) and we saw each other less and less. Luckily she moved from the City to the East Bay (Oakland represent) and she knows how to party.
We celebrated the Fourth of July early on Sunday and enjoyed the sunshine while we drank French wine and ate French foods. After one bottle we started munching on chips and cheese, and by bottle two we were throwing watermelon and smashing cupcakes into our faces. 
I’m so grateful to have a friend who is willing to haul a whole bunch of heavy supplies, deal with douchey Lyft drivers, defend our spread from boys trying to holler and have a blast while we make costume changes and take zillions of photos. Thanks for being the best, Dev.

Picnics have definitely become my favorite summer activity.
So about that spread--The French Ministry of Agriculture sent us four bottles of wine from Beaujolaid and Loire, two cheeses from Normany and Auvergne, and the most delicious salts from the Medditerranean Sea and Guérande.
Since we forgot the patriotic cupcakes, we got crazy with them once we got back to the house--unfortunately those bottles of wine compromised our ability to get the actual cake smashing properly documented, but I assure you it was a delicious mess.
Big thanks to the French Ministry of Agriculture for sponsoring this post and an even bigger thanks to Devyn for making my Fourth of July one to remember. 

How are you celebrating this year?

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Let's give 'em something to taco 'bout

Before I get into this post, I need you to know that I have literally eaten tacos for every single meal since Sunday, and I'm still not sick of them. I think that makes me an actual official Californian. We love our tacos on the West coast--I even dress my dog up as one (and I'm pretty sure I need this shirt, but I digress).

I also ate my fair share of incredible tacos in Austin, and Mexico is on my list of travel destinations, so get ready to hear me rave about that in the near future. But for now, let's talk about these beauties.
The La Victoria brand is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so they're throwing rad foodie events all over the country. Last week they had Chef Gustavo Romero create duck confit tacos with jicama, avocado mousse and orange-cherry salsa in San Francisco. Unfortunately I wasn't there to experience it myself, but the photos make my mouth water (if you live in Portland, be sure to check out the event coming to you on July 13 at the Pioneer Courthouse Square). So in lieu of eating a famous chef's famous duck, I used my own West Coast vibez to create these taco creations. 
Since I decided to go pescetarian for June (...I love a challenge, and I'm definitely finding myself making better, lighter and more thoughtful decisions because of it), I went with shrimp and fried cod tacos made with La Victoria diced green chiles and topped with La Victoria Cilantro Salsa. These were probably the most elaborate tacos I've ever made--tartar sauce made from scratch and homemade "frying flour" assembled with oregano, salt, chile powder and pepper. We even topped them with crumbled goat feta (lactose-free!) and plain Greek yogurt (aka lactose-free sour cream). 
Then I completely stuffed my face, and it was glorious. I feel a full-on vegetarian month coming on soon, and this recipe for roasted cauliflower steaks with verde chimichurri looks BOMB.

Please tell me, what are the best tacos you've ever had? When? Where? And how do I get some? 
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Bay Area Thangs

Lately I've thought back to planning my cross-country road trip into the unknown over four years ago. Not just because holy-shit-where-did-the-time-go, but also because the old me would've been ashamed of the present me's lack of dedication to this internet space. That entire week of travel was full of guest posts. GUEST POSTS. Not only did I plan posts ahead, but I even forced my friends and family to write for the internet too (sorry, guys).
I was uprooting my entire life, leaving everything and everyone I'd ever known, but it was YOU guys I was worried about (ok, maybe it's only my mom who's still around from that era). Anyway, I have a lot of stuff going on these day. Once I got here it became more of the "LOOK AT ALL THE COOL STUFF CALIFORNIA HAS" kind of content, and dudes, there's still so much cool stuff here. I've just been doing it without telling you about it, so let's catch up for a minute. I'm sticking to the bigger events, but four years ago I could've/probably did write an entire post just about how excited I was to have dairy-free creamers for my coffee everywhere I went). #spoiled
Bottlerock -- the past couple years I went all out for Bottlerock (read about it here and here), but this time it was a last-minute decision. My office has this majestic thing we call Summer Fridays where everyone goes outside and enjoys life starting at 1pm on Friday through the summer (did I mention my job is awesome?). So instead of riding the ferry home and lol'ing at everyone still in their offices like I'd done the week before, I raced home and drove to Napa for some wine and music. I missed out on a bunch of acts earlier in the day, but let's be real, I really just needed to see Modest Mouse. I also managed to catch Macklemore on the food stage throwing chicken into the audience with Martha Stewart, heard St. Motel as I was trying to find parking, watched some of Fitz & the Tantrums' set, Silversun Pickups, Catfish and the Bottlemen, then settled on in with Modest Mouse the rest of the night. It was a short, whirlwind love affair, but I already have my Outside Lands tickets for this year, so I let it go.
Clusterfest -- Speaking of Outside Lands, those angelic humans created a COMEDY FESTIVAL. This was its inaugural year, and I'm hoping there will be many more to come (despite it  living up to its clever name). I'm pretty sure I strained my face from laughing so much. There were simultaneous sets of super to semi famous comedians in the Bill Graham Auditorium, at a stage set up across from the capital building and another smaller stage set up farther away. We saw so many hilarious acts, but the ones that really stick out in my mind are: Rachel Bloom, Hannibel Buress, Fred Armisen, Lil Dicky, Anthony Jeselnik, Tig Notaro, Hasan Minhaj, Liza Treyger, Jay Larson, Chris Garcia... I know I'm missing some really great ones, but seriously all of these people cracked me up. There were a couple times when I was uncontrollably laugh crying. OH, AND TIA CARERRE WAS THERE (the Babebraham Lincoln from Wayne's World) -- the Broad City Girls (who I also love) did a live reading of Wayne's World (one of my all-time favorite movies) and then, BOOM, Cassandra comes on and sings Ballroom Blitz right into my ears. It was incredible.
Random Weekend Things -- When I'm not chilling at festivals it's all about that brunch, wine, hike, and obviously Netflix life. So that's what I've been up to.

What have your weekends looked like this summer?
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How to sink safely into Netflix-fueled denial

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL TIME TO BE ALIVE, FRIENDS!

As long as you turn off your CNN notifications, don’t go on any form of social media and acquire someone else's Netflix password...  
It's a wonderful, quirky world filled with quick-witted people with perfectly symmetrical faces whose biggest problems (and solutions) are neatly written into a script. 

You gotta love that kind of consistency. If you really want to drown out the miserable nails-scraping-a-chalkboard sound that is the world news at any given time, I suggest investing in a Costco set of Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mixes, coconut La Croix and plenty of puzzles. 
Once you’ve got a batch in the oven, your phone placed safely in the freezer and a cold one popped open, here’s what your queue should look like (warning: unless you’re thrifty before your phone goes into hibernation, you may need to create a fake email address for an HBO Go trial, which means going on a computer, which puts you at risk of falling into a black hole of internet hate, so tread carefully): 

Master of None — Season two just came out, so if you watched season one a million years ago, like myself, it’s time to watch it again and let the splendor of Arnie wash over you all over again. Aziz is a genius.

LOVE — If you like watching beautiful people be assholes in LA in an extremely awkward, pretty funny and weirdly addicting way, get on it. Season two for this one also recently popped out, so enjoy both seasons back-to-back like a real hermit.

Girls — See above description except in NYC instead of LA. You’ll need an HBO Go login, but I believe in you. Somewhere back there one of your exes texted it to you, you just have to trust in the scroll. Just know that the very last episode of the finale will make you say, “what in the actual fuq?"

New Girl — One of my top three favorite shows of all time. Season six just ended, and if you’ve never seen season one, then I am incredibly envious. But I’ll watch it with you for the fifth or sixth time anyway. 

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — If you hate musicals, GTFO this blog. Kidding. But not really. This show is hilarious, and if you don’t agree then we can’t be friends. That is all.

Girlboss — This one started really strong for me. It takes place in San Francisco, it’s loosely based on the book based on the life of Sophia Amoruso and her BFF makes it worth watching. 

Gilmore Girls — I’m realizing now how many of my favorite TV shows have the word “girl” in the title. Please ignore this as I feel it may be some sort of internalized misogyny playing out in my very own Netflix queue. Kidding… kind of. Anyway, if you’re a weirdo like me, start with the newest season so you’ll be real nice and confused before starting from season one for the first time. I love watching people get younger while I waste away on my couch. 

Big Little Lies — IT’S SO GOOD. But read the book first. AND THEN APPRECIATE HOW GOOD. And save the soundtrack because daaaayum


Stranger Things — This one’s not great for the anxiety issue we’re trying to avoid, but at the same time it’s nostalgic and you can’t stop watching, so just do it.  
Once you’ve made your way through that there list, it’s time to hit up these fail-safe options:

The Office, FRIENDS, Parks & Rec (chubby Chris Pratt is the best Chris Pratt), 30 Rock and Modern Family.

Aaaand once you get through those, it’s time to hit the hard stuff… like Community, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Workaholics and, if need be, The O.C.

That’s it, friends. All you need to forget about our world falling apart: brownies, fruity soda water and endless television. Whatever allows you to actually get out of bed in the morning, amiright?  
What are your coping mechanisms these days? 


PS: I know, I know. We have to be the change. I’m trying. But sometimes denial is the best chance I have at not crawling into a little ball forever and ever.  Just keeping it real. 

PPS: Like my sweatshirt? It's c/o Mindful Tee -- see more designs here.
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