Saturday, October 19, 2013

The San Francisco Treat

You may have noticed that I was in San Francisco over the weekend. What's that, you say? I was blowin' up your Instagram feed, Facebook newsfeed,  and twitter with some of my favorite photos - Oh you know, just Pier 39, Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square... basically I'm a San Francisco-an now. Wait - let me back up.

Some friends from High School were planning a meet up in SF and I was lucky enough to be invited. I found an awesome deal on a Delta flight and scooped up a ticket! We also booked tickets for Alcatraz and a Hop on Hop off bus. 

SIDENOTE: If I was still working in public accounting, I would not have been able to take this lovely trip because, my friends... it was just days before the 10/15 extension deadline.  You may or may not know -- but when we moved to CLT, I gave up my life of working 60 hour weeks [yeah, yeah... only during tax season - but still, thats a quarter of the year!!!!] and opted to transition into a Finance position [which I absolutely LOVE, by the way].  

Well, I have been wanting to visit SF for as long as I can remember and in an ironic twist, I never went during the 6-ish years I lived in Seattle [which is less than a 2 hour flight away]. Total roundtrip travel time was 12+ hours with a layover in Cincinnati on the way there and SLC on the way back. But - it was all worth it to see the gorgeous city in the flesh.

THURSDAY: My friend Mel and I arrived at the airport almost at the same time so we met up and took the BART to Union Square. Then we took a cab to --- you guessed it! --- INN & OUT!

Then we checked into our Air BNB with this amazing view:
We rested up, did a little shopping [hello ZARA] and then walked to Little Italy for a delicious dinner at E Tutto Qua. I literally felt like I was back in Italy - that's how good the restaurant was. Mel and I both had homemade buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. Then we tried the homemade pasta called Paccheri Golosi with prosciutto, Porcini mushrooms and truffle oil in a cream sauce.  To die for! Probably my favorite food of the whole trip! So delicious. Of course we had the panna cotta and pistachio gelato for dessert. Yum! My favorite part of the meal was how cheerful the servers were and they just made the environment so much fun to be in. Also, I asked one of them how we go about hailing a cab and our waiter said - here, I'll show you! And he literally walked outside and flagged a cab for us! I felt like I was in NYC. Coolest thing ever!

FRIDAY: I tried dim sum for the first time EVER. So good. I highly recommend! We tried Yank Sing in the Financial District.

The rest of the group arrived after lunch and we jumped on the "Hop On Hop Off Bus" -- pun intended. We thought about it and decided -- YOLO! We should sit on the top decker so we did. Let me just say that riding on the top deck while driving over the Golden Gate bridge was freezing!!!!!! Other than that, I had a blast up top.

Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person was probably one of the highlights of my life. For real.

We decided to walk across it. Little did we know it was 1.7 miles.    Now I can cross that off my bucket list! Such a gorgeous view.

And finally... you knew there would be one! A selfie!

We had dinner at House of Prime Rib and it was delicious! I highly recommend it if you are in the area.

SATURDAY: We were supposed to go to Alcatraz but needless to say, that was cancelled [read: government shutdown]. So we grabbed a quick breakfast at Starbucks and headed back to the Golden Gate Bridge via our Hop On Hop Off bus. Actually, this is when we walked over it. Friday we just did a real quick "drive by"... Then we headed to the Wharf for some seafood and clam chowder at Boudin. It was tasty! This is where they have those cute sourdough shaped animals such as bears and alligators, etc. What, alligators aren't cute? After lunch we checked out the Sea Lions at Pier 39. That was really fun [and stinky and loud] but still fun! We also checked out Ghirardelli Square which is where duh! ghirardelli squares are made! I'm not a huge chocolate person but that was fun to see. I loved the big sign too.

We went back to the condo to freshen up nap and by the time we woke up, it was about 7 pm and we didn't feel like getting all dolled up so we just ordered some Thai food and ate dinner at the condo. That was fun and cozy. We did end up going out for drinks shots and I stayed up until almost 2 am PST [read 5 am EST] so that was an adventure. Let's just say I'm not 21 anymore. Good night, SF!

SUNDAY: We woke up and headed straight to Tartine Bakery for our last meal in the city. To get there, we tried the car service Lyft! I really liked how streamlined and easy it was. If they have this service in your city, you should check it out and let me know what you think. What did I get from Tartine? A chocolate croissant, coconut tart and slice of quiche. I had to sample a few things! Unfortunately for you, everything was so amazingly delicious that I didn't take any photos.  Sorry, blog-ers! Then, it was a quick shuttle ride back to the airport and 2 flights back home. I didn't get into CLT until 11 pm EST but it was all worth it! Love you, ladies & SF ... I can't wait until we meet again!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ombre Dreams

I have been slowing inching my way towards getting my hair colored ombre [brown fading to blonde] and I finally pulled the trigger! I have loved the style for a year or so but wasn't sure I was ready to commit.  I decided that since we moved to a new place, no one knows my style and I can make beauty  and/or style routine changes as I pleased. 

Wear red lipstick to work? Check. 

Benefit lipstick
Purchase 2 camo shirts* in less than a week? Check. 

Via Target / Men's Section - that's what's up! 
My first camo purchase ever. Via jcrew.
Color my hair ombre? Check. 

See how I did a sad/serious face in the before pic?
It's pretty easy, right? Anyway... I feel like my style is constantly evolving and that is what makes me unique.  I know some people that only wear classic pieces, would wear black everyday if they could or  they try ever single fashion trend. I try to constantly edit my wardrobe and mix and match things differently.  I remember a girl in high school who never wore the same outfit twice. Some people were so impressed with that -- but I always prefer quality over quantity - unless it's something super trendy that I won't wear much. Then I'm okay with forever 21-ing it up.  

Anywho... Back to hair.  One thing that I was literally terrified of was finding a new hair stylist. I had been going to my previous stylist for 3+ years in Seattle and we really had a great relationship. Moving to a new place is always intimidating and it's hard to try someone new, especially when it's my precious hair!!! {shallow, much???} I spent some A LOT of time researching salons on Yelp and finally settled on Orange Olive Hair Gallery in the hip neighborhood of NoDA [North Davidson, if you're curious.] I emailed them and told them what I was looking for and they paired me up with the lovely Jess {@jessthehairstylist on insta} who met me for a consultation beforehand to discuss my ombre dreams. 

MAKING THE DREAM A REALITY..... Then, on Saturday, 9/28, I went in and BAM! My hair is a lovely blended ombre.  I love it! Now the hard part is figuring out which shampoo to use. My hair is now like, 3 different colors. And I am no fan of brassy yellow. So I bit the bullet and picked up some Kerastase $40-a-bottle shampoo and hopefully it will work wonders. I am also thinking about getting a purple/toning shampoo to use weekly or bi-weekly.  Any recommendations from my naturally or not so naturally blonde friends?

[Footnote] *Don't worry. I won't wear the camo shirts to work.  Not even on Casual Friday.