Life Lately – July 26, 2017

Alameda County FairI hate to break it to you, but we’re about halfway through summer. 

Half. Way. 

For those of you who are counting the exact days, no, it’s not the exact midpoint between the first day of summer (June 21st) and the first day of fall (September 22nd). But if you’re talking school year summers, which vary widely around the country and around the world, we’re halfway through ours! 

Summer has been a whirlwind of activity, which is why it’s been tough to keep up with posting. I’ve been constantly busy with day to day life and my calendar has been booked every weekend. On Sunday, I had a day with no plans, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had actually forgotten how I spend Sundays relaxing because I hadn’t done it months.

I want to share with you some of the things that have been going on in my life lately and tell you about the fun stuff that I’ve been doing. 

Alameda County Fair. My family and I actually have a dispute on whether I’ve been to the county fair before. My father swears that he’s taken me to the fair himself, along with my brother. On the other hand, I don’t think I had been to the fair at all! Until I went with my friend at the end of June.

She was the perfect guide, leading me around the fairgrounds and showing me all the different exhibits and shows. She even knew which food stands served which food and which alcohol stands served which drinks. I ended up getting a mac and cheese hot dog, topped with crushed flaming hot cheetos while she got a mound of french fries topped with mac and cheese (which she so kindly shared). 

Mac and Cheese Hot Dog

It was a fun experience and it was nice to do something different on a Friday night! There will always be restaurants, bars, and Netflix nights in, but the county fair is only in town for a couple weeks. 

Beach Trip. The weekend after the 4th of July, my boyfriend and I went to the beach for the weekend. We got a nice AirBnB in a small town south of Santa Cruz and had a relaxing weekend there just hanging out. We caught up on Game of Thrones, did some light reading, and walked down to the beach with no set schedule. 

It was gloomy at the beach so I didn’t take many photos, but it was still pretty

Until this beach trip, I took “staycations” for granted, thinking they weren’t exactly a waste of money but almost. Maybe we just got lucky with our AirBnB, or maybe it’s just because we were close to the beach, but I actually came back from a weekend away feeling refreshed and calm. 

Twin Peaks. I dedicated over 30 hours of Netflix time (over a period of ~3 months) to watching Twin Peaks, a TV series that ran from 1990-1991 by David Lynch. It’s difficult to categorize the show, as it’s something of a murder mystery, sci-fi show, and soap opera combined into one show, but it’s thoroughly entertaining and has a cult following. The show had only 2 seasons up until May 2017 (yeah, this past May), where a third season was released on Showtime. If you’re looking for a new show, are a fan of Stranger Things, and can get past some of the silly early 90s special effects that happened on television at the time, give Twin Peaks a chance! 

The Book of Mormon. I’m super late to the game here, but we finally saw The Book of Mormon. It was touring in San Jose so we decided to go, because we remembered how everyone was raving about the show…6 years ago. We really didn’t know what exactly the show was about. We also didn’t really research it either, because we wanted it to be a surprise. It wasn’t until when we got our programs that we realized that the writers of the musical were the same writers of South Park. Then we started to get an idea of what we were in for. Was it out of the ordinary for a musical? Most definitely. Would I see it again? Probably not. When I was younger, I definitely liked the South Park type of humor, but as I’ve grown older, I feel like I’ve outgrown a lot of it. 

Alameda County Fair
Another photo from the fair I really liked

I can’t believe I’ve only shared four things with you all. There are so many other things I’ve done this summer too, and so much more to come. I can’t wait to share new happenings in my next Life Lately post!

PopSugar Must Have, May 2015

May PopSugar Must Have 2015

With summer almost here (YESSSS!), it was pretty exciting to get a PopSugar box full of summer gear! This month’s theme seems to revolve around a two major things––Mother’s Day and hitting the beach.  Here are the items we got in our box this month:

Sister of Los Angeles – Surf Sand Love Beach Towel – $40 – This bright, light, and fluffy towel is the perfect size to throw into your beach bag! Surprisingly, it’s also quite light, too. This POPSUGAR-designed beach towel is an exclusive for subscribers.

Middle Kingdom – Mini Plum Vase in Coral Red – $20 – Although I’m not sure this vase is worth $20 on its own, this bud vase is a beautiful shade of red. With it’s design, it’s easy to ensure that a single flower or small, delicate bunch of flowers will stand upright and look amazing. It’s makes a great gift for someone who loves flowers!

Kitsch – Tri’d & True Y-Shaped Necklace – $32 – This is was definitely my favorite item in the box! Y-Shaped necklaces like this are all the rage right now, and I love that PopSugar decided to include one in the May box. They’re easy to layer, but they can easily be worn on their own, too. There will be no shortage of Y-Shaped necklaces at music festivals, beaches, pools, or any other summer celebrations this year!

Sage & Row – Bare Shave Cream – $17 – Definitely a luxurious shaving cream! This shaving cream is aloe-based (great for sensitive skin!) and locks in moisture. Not sure I would pay $17 for shaving cream, but I can see why someone would reach for this shaving cream after a long days in the summer sun.

Batiste – Dry Shampoo – $4 – It was nice to receive a trial size of Batiste dry shampoo, since it is one of the top dry shampoo brands. . I’m forever on the hunt for an affordable dry shampoo that works, and I’m ready to give this cherry-scented one a try! It’s travel size makes it easy to throw into a beach tote or purse and go.

Hammonds Candies – McCraw’s Flat Taffy – $1 – Taffy always reminds me of the beach, and it’s hard to believe this bright taffy is made with no artificial colors or flavors added! Plus, this large piece of taffy only costs $1? That’s a great value in my opinion!

This month’s box totals: $114 worth of goodies!

If you’re a PopSugar Must Have subscriber, what did you think of this month’s box?

So Long, Summer

We all know that Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. I love fall, but I’m just not ready to let go of summer. Fortunately, we still have a few weeks of hot weather (today will be close to the 90s) so we can transition into pleasantly cool and crisp autumn days.

I had a good summer. Like, really good. I did a lot of traveling and exploring that I didn’t really share in-depth with you all (sorry about that!). Summer just went by so quickly that I don’t think I even took long enough to process everything that has happened, so I thought I would take a moment to highlight some of the best parts of the season.

Amsterdam Centraal/Central Station
Amsterdam Centraal/Central Station

At the end of May, around Memorial Day (the unofficial start of summer, ha!) I hopped on a plane to the other side of the world to explore the beautiful city of Amsterdam. I only shared part of the trip on here because I couldn’t find the time to share every detail I wanted but I was truly taken aback by Amsterdam’s beauty. The architecture is breathtaking, from all the old churches, tall houses to the brick roads and small bridges, and there is so much to learn about their rich history at The Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt’s house. All I can say is, I would love to go back. And if you have an opportunity to visit Amsterdam, I hope you take it!

From Amsterdam, I got on a plane again to Asia, where I spent a lot of time in India. India is a place you must see for yourself. India has a rich culture, and there are many different subcultures throughout the country. I got to explore much of South India, where I spent time in the “Silicon Valley” of India, called Bengaluru (or Bangalore), Kozhikode (or Calicut), and Kanyakumari. Each place is COMPLETELY different than the other. I got to vacation at a high-end resort, see a world-famous sunset, and indulge in South Indian Cuisine. Plus, I got to drink a whole lot of filter coffee, one of my favorite drinks there.

Filter Coffee
Filter Coffee
Calicut
Resort in Calicut
Sunset at Kanyakumari
Everybody gathering to watch the sunset at Kanyakumari. It was foggy but still beautiful!

For 4th of July weekend, a couple of friends and I decided to get away for the weekend and hit up Los Angeles. We browsed through a few nice vintage stores, walked through some boutiques in Abbot Kinney, and spent lots of time in beautiful Santa Monica doing some shopping. It was all about shopping and good eats for us! Our time in LA was short, but sweet. We couldn’t fit in everything we wanted to do within 48 hours, but we made the most of our time there (we only slept for 2 hours our 2nd night there!).

Venice Beach
Venice Beach

A few weeks later, I made my way to the Renegade Craft Fair that was happening in Fort Mason in the city. Of course, parking was a mess, but we browsed through so many different booths full of handmade goods and art. I always wanted to go but somehow, every year it fell on a weekend that never worked for me. I find craft fairs like this so inspiring, and I love supporting small businesses. I didn’t buy much, but I was happy to finally get to go!

My birthday happens to be in the beginning of August, so my friends and I went to Sunday Brunch at Foreign Cinema. For those not familiar with the restaurant, it is one of San Francisco’s top-rated brunch spots. How popular is it? Let’s just say we got there 20 minute before it opened and there was already a huge crowd waiting about to trample over others for some brunch. Yeah. I started my day with a bloody mary and some type of fancy poached eggs I don’t even remember the name of. We then grabbed some coffee from Ritual Coffee Roasters on Valencia St. and made our way to Haight-Ashbury where we did some shopping (and people-watching).

Foreign Cinema
Eggs at Foreign Cinema

A couple of days later, I saw the Queen since she came to visit. By Queen, I mean Queen Bey. Beyoncé and Jay Z made a stop in San Francisco for their On The Run Tour. The show was so lively and although I could barely see Beyoncé from where I was sitting, the show was still amazing.

Beyoncé and Jay Z: On The Run Tour
Beyoncé and Jay Z: On The Run Tour. Can you spot Beyoncé and Jay Z on stage?

And a couple of days after that, I went to my first (I know, first!) music festival, Outside Lands. I saw a lot of great performances and ate some good food from some of the Bay Area’s most well-known restaurants, like Homeroom. It was nice to go to a huge festival at home, instead of say traveling all the way to Coachella. Some of the acts I saw included Death Cab for Cutie, Capital Cities, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and Kanye West.

Ranger Dave at Outside Lands
Ranger Dave at Outside Lands

Needless to say, I was pretty tired after that weekend.

I had a life-changing brunch the next weekend after that, where we were celebrating a friend’s birthday. In addition to having peach mimosas (soooo good!), I treated myself to Nutella-Stuffed French Toast. It was heavenly, to say the least. The Nutella would just pour out as I cut into the toast. I never thought Nutella could complement french toast so well. And yeah, you bet I will be trying to recreate the french toast.

And now we are here, at Labor Day weekend, where I decided to kick back and enjoy some time at home!

Hope you all are having great Labor Day weekends and can also say you had amazing summers! Just so you know, you may still see some bits of summer around here until the weather *actually* starts to get colder.