From August 24th. Revisiting this page for a quick celebration that I've finished my 2nd book of the year. My resolution is to read 10 books—which I thought was 6, but 10 is a true stretch goal.
Finishing a book I started last summer feels a bit silly, but I'm glad I picked it up again.
read : Wine. All the Time
Once I found out I didn't get the job, my plan b was to attend the Echo Park Craft Fair. This would mean a trip to LA, staying with two of my best friends from college (Chelsea & Chelsea), and a huge dose of inspiration—without taking a PTO day.
After the longest Uber pool ride from LAX to Hollywood, I got to my friend's place. While they were away at work I let myself in, said what's up to Baloo the cat, and took a nap. For a snack I went to Sqirl for the first time and tried the famous ricotta toast with a rainbow stripe of all three current jam offerings, the perfect pick-me-up.
I met my friends in the Arts District that night for happy hour with Chelsea's coworkers. I was early, so I sat at the bar taking in those DTLA vibes with a glass of wine. When they arrived I was intro'ed to loads of people, most importantly, Chels' work-wife Bridget, and her BF Mike. It was funny hearing the girls comment on their coworker's decreasing state of sobriety as the night went on. The five of us went for pizza after and called it a night. I swear I spotted that loft building from New Girl they throw in between scenes, DTLA vibes!
The next day was it!
I had planned to wear my red Marais shoes, but everything I packed suddenly wasn't jiving with them. The night before was David's holiday party, so naturally I packed after we got home and ate pho. I threw all my go-to pieces in a suitcase and hoped for the best.
We decided outfit option one (of two) was the best—for the shoes, so I wore my favorite jeans that are usually too loose on me, a Lou & Grey tee that gets baggy around the pits by midday, and my beloved Rag & Bone bag (an eBay score). I threw in my fave hammered gold statement earrings to bring the drama. Solid #OOTD.
Once we parked the car at EPCF I was immediately so happy. It was sunny AND warm, what a freaking dream. I called David telling him LA is so great, we should move here, "why didn't we move here?". I knew his denim obsession could get in the way of this future-manifesting phone call but he laughed saying it wasn't an issue. I believe him.
From the jump, this craft fair made my dreams come true. The girls ran to the bathroom and while I waited I spotted the Marais shoes booth! I texted my bestie Chelsie in NYC that I could see Haley Boyd the Creative Director, omg! Next thing I know she's walked up to me saying "cuuute!" pointing to my shoes! Ahhh!
Starting at the Marais booth, me and the Chelseas' made our way around the two rooms of vendors. We got to the Moon Juice booth and were all about it. We tried so many samples and had so many questions, it felt like we spent 20 mins there. I got packets of spirit and beauty dust to enhance my beauty and wellbeing, ya know?
Even leaving EPCF was ceremonious. We had our own photoshoot against the building for a whiiiiillleee.
Over the years I've learned from all the Instagram models that The Grove at Christmas is a must. What I didn't know is that fake snow happens! My friends suggested we eat at the Nordstrom Cafe because their patio overlooks the entire winter wonderland. We sat at the bar while waiting for a table which was ideal for the free pistachios and really entertaining people watching. People in LA can act so LA so naturally.
We were finally seated on the patio with the best view! The snow began at 8p and it was so perfect. That Bing Crosby Christmas song plays as a kind of announcement and snow shoots out all over the place. Very cheesy and magical! That night since we were in a Christmasy spirit we watched White Christmas (with Bing Crosby), a Chelsea & Chelsea fave, but it was my first time.
On Sunday we celebrated Chelsea's early bday with a rooftop lunch with a view of the Hollywood sign. I got to meet some of their close friends and again was entertained by observing people. Lunch included very inattentive service, constructing a text-back to a girl's date that just had referred to himself in the third person, and a serenade in Portuguese.
After lunch, I met up with another friend from college, Audrey. She was in the Apparel Design program with me in Portland, and had just moved to LA. We got coffee at Intelligencia on Sunset and caught up for hours. She already had that expectant LA glow and was so in love with her new life!
Since I had a weekend pass to EPCF I thought I would get an early dinner from a vendor there. It was around the corner from us so it was easy to convince Audrey to join me. An old coworker of hers immediately recognized her, that was so cool. I loved walking through the rooms again with a more mellow energy. The sun was setting and things felt super peaceful throughout the space. Audrey was as stoked as I was saying yesterday, saying she should have brought business cards, amen.
While I was out, the Chelsea's had been shopping for Christmas gifts for kids, a holiday charity Chelsea had organized at her work. That night we went out for dinner and frozen custard, then stayed in watching Elf and had a wrapping party!
On my last day, the girls both went to work and I had real sad feels about leaving. I finally made it out of the house at 11a and took myself out for a fancy $$$ LA breakfast at Honey Hi.
After a final nap on their couch I made the call to hike Runyon Canyon. Honestly it was the best thing to do with the last hour of light in the day.
This was the best weekend. I felt so happy, maybe the happiest I had felt in 2017. The majority of people I met, interacted with, or observed were open and friendly and warm. I had a blast with my friends. At EPCF I loved seeing the brands I've had long standing Insta-crushes on, and making new discoveries. I also met a few brands that are based in Oakland!
Spending long overdue time with the Chelseas' was the best. Obviously a huge reason why this trip meant so much to me. Chelsea said when we're together she feels calm and happy, it's easy. That was so beautiful to hear, and TRUE. I am truly ME around these girls and that is the best feeling. It's so great to be reminded.
wore : Jane Mule
listen : I'm So LA
ate : Honey Hi
A couple weeks back I got the call regarding the interviews I had gone on for a Design Coordinator role. They went in a different direction. I was initially bummed, but as the Design Director called me herself, I knew I had left a good impression on the team.
This was for an intimates brand that ticked most of my boxes for a place I'd like to work. Coming from Macy's corporate, I liked the idea of working for a startup that was just setting up processes and growing their team. On the other hand, I want to continue making intimate goods myself, and this would have been a direct conflict of interest.
Since I'm really struggling financially at this point, I've made an outline of things I can sell or make & sell to get me through this winter. In college I made several pairs of pajama pants which I really enjoyed. At a certain point I stopped and looking back I wish I hadn't. I must of thought it was not worth my time once I graduated. But now I've learned that if you like doing something, to keep doing it. If you want to turn a profit on it, that's possible too with a bit of extra work and support.
In making bras for #modBRAproject, I've been so flattered with the amount of support from my friends and folks on the internet. I've never sold one, as sewing and sizing are things I struggle with, but in putting content out there regardless, people have been really into them.
This winter I'll make a handful of simple pajamas with the hopes of selling a few to get by as I continue to job search.
I've created a daily checklist on Google Keep of things I am doing to repair my skin, and last night I made a separate list of things I'd like to do daily to keep myself healthy & happy. The list of course begins with reading and meditating. I'm off to burn some palo santo now.
read : The Go-Giver my dad loves this book and signed a copy for me while I was home for Thanksgiving. Like, really loves it.
listen : The High Low podcast
play : HQ live trivia
wear : allbirds wool runners
Yesterday I created a few rough versions of my idea of a "vision board meets calendar". I tried a few different layouts which I'll be test driving this month, before reproducing this digitally and printing out for 2018.
I tried a few layouts that incorporated the entire month, then some that were more zoomed in and similar to my daily to-do lists. I like the idea of capturing both a to-do list and notes in a daily page, allowing me to think beyond the immediacy of the day's goals and just jot down random thoughts, notes on my skin's progress, etc.
A reacquiring theme in my to-do lists is this little box. At some point in my last job I started giving myself boxes to check off and would use a different color as the check mark, making it super clear what was leftover. The gratification of checking off the boxes is such a great feeling. It's the same rewarding feeling I get when swipe away Inbox email reminders of errands I've added to my Google calendar. Checking things off works for me.
Lastly, I may skip the monthly calendar all together and opt to make an entire 2018 roadmap, with weekly or biweekly sheets along side it, or in a small to-go binder. This may take up an entire wall, but I'm hoping this project also motivates me to get my little office/closet up and running for all of my creative projects.
As fall temperatures settle into Oakland I'm feeling reenergized and ready to set intentions for how I'd like to finish out the year, and take bolder steps towards feeling at home here. I've wanted to make myself a calendar for a while now to set goals and measure progress with. Unlike a note in my phone, or google calendar, I want this to be tactile. Like a vision board with a timeline. No universe BS. I'll mock some up and create one by my next post.
A few of my goals are :
-focus on overall health: workout regularly, start running again, get massages often, find a spot for a facials, find a dentist, acupuncturist, and eye doctor.
-treat acne by adjusting diet, topical products, supplements, etc. keep record of this process.
-fully unpack and organize all clothing and remove boxes from the apartment.
-create a list of wants. whether for my wardrobe or the apartment, or travel destinations, keeping track of these ideas as they arise will help me determine what I actually want once I have money to spend.
-find a cause to be a part of; probably helping kids or animals.
I broke out really badly last week. I had been working on a trend presentation and wearing my glasses for several days straight and broke out badly from where they sit around my nose. I am also about to get my period, so of course I broke out on my chin. Overall, I've felt calm and laid back through this past month of interviewing, but somehow my body is more stressed out than ever on the inside. I'm not sure how to tell my body to chill when my mind feels pretty chill. Anybody? This is a selfie of my face with a decent about of concealer on (and a fabulous filter) over the weekend. However, the inflammation is impossible to hide. I picked up a couple acne products I'm slightly excited about though, I'll plug them below and keep documenting my results.
Today was full of wins.
My to-do list for the past week has included three things consistently: shower, drive, and yoga. Fairly simple, yet I can't seem to cross off the latter two things. At some point late last night, I signed myself up for another yoga class and told myself "this time you'll go.. and drive."
The first time I drove on my own here was week one (we're on week four in the timeline now I believe). I drove to the Post Office to drop off a Nordstrom return. I think it was in Downtown Oakland. I did a decent job getting there, and parallel parking (without a car in front or behind me, nice!) and paid for parking. As my ticket printed I realized I was standing on a tampon, sans applicator, that appeared cut in half? After my Post Office errand I looked up the nearest credit union and elected to walk the seven minutes. Two blocks go by, then I hear a man behind me saying "hello." I'm a friendly person so I turn around and we share some friendly exchanges. The man was on a small bike and was walking it with his legs while seated in a gliding motion. As he goes ahead of me he complemented my "cabbose" then it hit me: I didn't have to go to the bank anymore. Since then I've been deterred by driving because it means getting out of the car in an unfamiliar place where anything is possible.
After walking Tuck to the lake this morning we stopped for coffee, and like a miracle, the pie shop next door with very odd operating hours was finally open. I got a couple slices for after dinner, and a cute lil quiche!
Finally I got home and decided yoga and driving were happening today, for real. I ate half of the very enjoyable quiche and hit the road. Can't yoga on an empty stomach.
After yoga I drove again to Whole Foods. As soon as I walked in I spotted my landlord and said "Hi ______!" She said hello back and was sweet but couldn't place me. I'm really owning this town.
This was meant to be a quick trip for cereal and fun beauty products, but post-yoga me was in a daze and had to see and consider it all. For dinner, I decided that salmon would be nice. From there things got really fuzzy. I bought tikka masala sauce and green curry paste. Basmati rice and quinoa. Keep in mind, I have no job. Sauce and non-pasta grains is a lifestyle I can't afford. However, I bought two bottles of rose that I will gladly justify. Dinner pictured below is the final result of my adventure. I let David pick the greens. Although tasty, a simple arugula salad might have dressed the plate better, or just suited this filter better. For dessert we had the most amazing slices of key-lime and pumpkin pie from aforementioned pie shop. Wins!
Between job-hunting in a new city, and walking my dog, Tucker, there's a lot else going on that I'd like to keep record of. More than posting depreciating stories on Instagram every day, I want to keep a record of what I saw, thought, made, and did.
Oakland thus far has been intimidating in a few ways. It's easier to get around in a car than any other mode of transport. I have a car, but forget I do. Then I remember. And also remember that freeways are four-ish lanes wide, and fast. Walking to Bart is a mile, and even then, it's only real purpose is to scootch ya to the city. Uber is an option for close by destinations, but at any given time the driver is always eight minutes away. In the same way I feel immobilized, I have no real friends out here to mobilize me. Once I mobilize myself, I expect this to change.
Job-hunting in my mind has gone well. I am supported by my partner David both emotionally and (for now) financially, allowing me "time" to properly explore all my options out here. I've gone out for three interviews and have had three phone screenings within a month now. The way I've approached it is that I'm chipping away at this goal a little bit everyday. Whether I apply for a new job, send a note to connect with a recruiter on LinkedIn, or follow-up with someone I just met, it all counts as progress.
I also chip away at Friends everyday. I didn't watch it growing up, and even though I started watching from season one when it first came to Netflix, it didn't jive with me. Before our move, I started watching it again while organizing, packing, and generally coping. Then finally I got it! I get the humor, I get the bond of these characters, and now I love Friends! What I keep wondering is if Ross ever becomes attractive. I'm on season seven now and I'm still asking. Spoiler alert; he's been married three times!?
Today I woke up late. I put on Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend (the Thursday show) and showered. Just past 10a I walked Tuck to Lake Merritt. That's become my goal for every funemployed morning. Then I get a coffee and see what he does while he's tied up outside. Today a woman asked if he was friendly, which he is to people, and I saw him just hamming it up, getting pets in the sun from her. When we got home I made toast with butter and apricot preserves for breakfast and got to "work."
Two days ago I was assigned a project for an interview that I am the most excited for yet. Yesterday was spent diving into the first half. Today has been spent brainstorming the second half, then editing those ideas down. Tricky and time consuming.
Here are some snapshots of my day. My lunch was leftovers from last night, reheated in a skillet. This always reminds me of my grandma Ida Mae's cooking. She'd fry up macaroni noodles with meat grease and black pepper and it was the best.
The sun has gone down now which means it's time to open a bottle of wine. Not sure what I'll eat if I get hungry, but at least there's wine.