Little white dress in wine country

With Seattle finally getting the memo that Summer is on the way, I’m excited to start figuring out how to rework my closet for the warmer days to come. Last weekend was spent in the northern countrysides of California, where we stared at rows on rows on rows of grapes, and I got to take my Summer wardrobe on a test drive.

It was a quick weekend trip to San Francisco, with the first day spent in the city (got to visit my usual favourites: Tartine, Boba Guys, and Bi-Rite Creamery) and then the next two days driving up north. Having never been to the Sonoma or Napa Valleys, it was really exciting to see a different side of California. Turns out that aside from being the home to many, many grapes, there are also a lot of mosquitoes up there!

Embroidered white linen and mixed material dress in Napa Valley
Embroidered white linen and mixed material dress in Napa Valley
outfit details:
embroidered mixed media dress: c/o J.Jill (exact)
peach sash borrowed from this dress
block heels/mules: c/o J.Jill (exact)
Cody the cute dog: The Sullivan Winery ;)

Embroidered white linen and mixed material dress in Napa Valley
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We could not have asked for better weather last weekend! The sun was out in full force, which was a much needed change from the consistently grey days we had experienced in Seattle before flying out.

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Boba Guys Kickstarter open house

If you’re a new reader, one of the most important things to know about me is that I L O V E bubble tea! I would drink this stuff every day – multiple times a day – if I could! My all-time favourite bubble tea shop is Boba Guys, who I started following a few years ago after my friends took me to their their pop-up shop. Not only am I hooked on their perfected craft of bubble teas, but I have so much respect for the brand they’ve cultivated over the few short years they’ve been in business.

Last week, I shared some snaps of the latest additions to my mug collection and am really excited to share more about the Kickstarter open house party that Boba Guys hosted on the last weekend of August for their new shop in Union Square, San Francisco.

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After backing the Boba Guys Labs Kickstarter back in May, I was super excited to join in on the open house party. Any excuse to hang out with the co-founders of this amazing company is a good enough reason to hop on a plane for a weekend in SF! What most people don’t realize is that these guys both have full time jobs on top of growing this company. Both Andrew and Bin are super smart and really awesome to talk to. I feel like I’m getting mini-MBA lessons whenever we chat. They’re also incredibly humble when it comes to the success of their shop, which blows my mind because they are moving mountains in the coffee and tea industry by positioning bubble tea as an everyday drink.

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In case you thought I was kidding about being addicted to bubble tea, I’ll admit to having 2 cups on this single visit. A regular jasmine milk tea (my fav!) was the first cup, followed by a strawberry tea fresca which is made from all fresh ingredients. I may or may not have been in a bubble tea coma by the time my friends and I got back to their place… haha!

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If you’re in the San Francisco area next weekend, their grand opening is on September 27!

Boba Guys – Union Square
429 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA
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Happy (US) Thanksgiving, friends!

Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving this year! I’m currently in California, as it’s an annual tradition for me and some of my closest friends to meet here on the long weekend and pig out together. We usually make a turkey on thanksgiving day itself, but we all woke up a little later than expected this morning (aka not enough time in the rest of the day to make a turkey unless we wanted to start eating around midnight haha), so we had a fun trek around to the city to find food places that were open for business. Tomorrow will be our make-up turkey day, which works out perfectly since I’m sure we’ll all be hanging out in pjs doing all our Black Friday shopping online!

California

Here’s a little peek into what the last couple days have been filled with:

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1 // A scoop of pumpkin and cookies & cream goodness from Bi-Rite Creamery
2 // Admiring our selection of shoes for walking around the city (those yellow sneakers are great!)
3 // Playing Takenako for the first time! It’s pretty much the cutest board game we’ve played to date! Ok, I’m probably biased because it’s all about pandas and eating bamboo…
4 // Thanksgiving day dim sum! We ordered a few too many of these deep-fried goodies, but thank goodness there was still room for mango pudding!
5 // Obligatory stop at Boba Guys for jasmine and horchata bubble teas

There’s so much to be thankful for every year, but I feel like I was especially grateful this year after going through a couple rough months. My family and friends helped me through a lot this year, which I cannot thank them enough for. Being away from home hasn’t been particularly hard per se, but it definitely puts a lot into perspective during those times you need a hug, a shoulder to cry on, or a little bit of reassurance that any difficult decisions made were the right ones. Can’t tell you how grateful I am for everyone that’s been part of my life thus far and for all the amazing opportunities that I’ve been lucky enough to be part of.

Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving!

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Treat yoself: birthday edition!

File this weekend in San Francisco under OMG. BEST. TRIP. EVER! It was an honest coincidence that everyone’s schedules lined up for a weekend away during my birthday. As someone who loves birthdays, I usually go all out with baking and celebrations for anyone’s birthdays! Balloons, streamers, cupcakes, extra sparkly candles– you name it, I probably have some stashed away in a corner of my apartment for the next party!

Something abnormal happened this year where I became extremely anxious to turn a year older. This didn’t discourage me from baking for anyone else’s birthdays, but it did stop me from making any plans for my own. This is going to sound super lame, but I really wanted to spend my birthday alone curled up with a good book and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. (Mega lame, I know.) I can’t quite put my finger on what it was that made me so nervous about getting older this particular year, but for the weeks leading up to the big day I felt extremely unsettled to the point where I had a bit of a meltdown back in September (which probably explains why it was a bit more quiet than usual on the blog).

Only a small handful of friends knew what I was going through emotionally at the time, so the days leading up to the trip felt like “normal days” to everyone else in the group. In the trip itinerary (the giant spreadsheet broken down by the hour) put together by my super organized friend, we were scheduled to have dinner from 8-10pm followed by some bar/lounge hopping. Thinking that we would be going straight out from dinner, I planned my outfit accordingly. After I got to the restaurant for dinner, I was so confused because half the group was dressed to go out, and the other half was still in their attire from earlier in the day. I kept asking, “Did I miss the memo?” and everyone assured me I wasn’t overdressed (but I totally was).

So as soon as dinner ended, we all split up into 3 cabs and headed towards the Mission District to the first bar on the list. I know I’m not doing this story any justice for how awesome the night actually was… But imagine being in my shoes and thinking that the night was going to be full of bar hopping, standing in front of a dive bar (while wayyy overdressed, no less), and being only two blocks away from Boba Guys. With such a big group, my cab was the first one to arrive. Knowing the area we were in, I asked a friend if I could run around the corner to quickly snap a photo of the Boba Guys storefront while we waited for everyone else to meet up. He told me I had to wait for the whole group to arrive before going anywhere. Being told I had to wait boggled my mind because the shop was literally 5 steps from where I was standing and it had nothing to do with any of the plans according to our itinerary for the night.

Eventually, the whole group shows up and I’m told that I can now run over to Boba Guys and take my photo before the night’s festivities. Little did I know what was in store once I turned the corner… I walked up to the front door, saw Andrew working behind the counter, and was confused to see that the shop was still open past 10pm. Immediately, my friends started to sing Happy Birthday and I thought, “UGH!! YOU GUYS PUNKED ME!?!” Yeah. So the whole bar hopping itinerary was fake.

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It’s no secret to my friends (or anyone who sees me multiple times a week) that I love bubble tea. Some may even say I’m obsessed. I mean, I did spend $100 in cabs earlier this year to go to Boba Guys, but never expected anyone to plan a surprise birthday event here!! I had been tweeting to the founders of Boba Guys during the week leading up to our trip, hoping to bring this big group of friends to my favourite bubble tea shop. Little did I know that one of my friends had already gotten in touch with the guys behind the shop to arrange the surprise bubble tea tasting event.

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I honestly could not believe how awesome this whole event was! Not only did Andrew graciously stay until 12:30am to introduce us to a handful of the slow bar teas, but he also chatted with us about how Boba Guys started and the importance of chasing dreams. In the words of the status update my friend tweeted after being introduced to Boba Guys and hearing Andrew talk: “I only wanted bubble tea. Instead, I got awesome advice, free samples, and inspiring stories.” This basically sums up exactly how I felt the first time I was introduced to Boba Guys back when they were still a popup in a ramen shop. Ever since that day, I’ve been a loyal follower of not only the business, but also the people who are so passionately driving it.

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Ok, so this is super dorky but I’ve always wanted to stand on the other side of the counter at Boba Guys and this night was my night!! I may have gotten a little too excited and walked into the table (I’m really clumsy) which ended up in spilled tea all over the counter… Oops!

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(more…)

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San Francisco adventures in Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge

This past weekend was a bit of a blur. My Seattle friends and I take an annual weekend trip somewhere (last year we went to Portland) and ended up in San Francisco this year. We originally wanted to go to New Orleans but, thanks to our procrastinating nature, the flights were way more expensive than we were willing to pay for a weekend away when it finally came down to buying tickets… soooo San Fran won!

The Californian weather has never been more amazing. In all the trips I’ve taken to San Fran in the last two years, I have never been able to wear dresses or shorts for two consecutive days. In the past, the mist usually wins and it gets way too cold at night to wear anything less than a long sleeve shirt. Instead, I found myself wearing dresses the whole weekend which was awesome!

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Our first full day was super packed with sight-seeing and walking. One of my friends is incredibly meticulous about trip planning and had our whole itinerary mapped out by the hour in an Excel spreadsheet. It’s awesome to travel with 14 other people and have such a defined plan!

The afternoon was spent taking a ferry to Sausalito, followed by checking out the Golden Gate Bridge. In the time that I spent living in the Bay Area, I had never been to Sausalito, let alone known of its existence! This little city is so quaint and cute. There are a ton of boutiques all over the area, not to mention gorgeous views of the water in almost every direction.

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outfit details:
skull dress: H&M
pyramid studded belt: Forever 21
Claddagh Heart Family Crown Ring: c/o Berricle.com (exact)
satchel: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target
Face a Face Kazan glasses: c/o Vizio Optic (similar)

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Someone forgot to mention in the spreadsheet that we would be walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, which meant my skull dress and heels were not exactly the most appropriate for the day. Oh well! The summer spent in heels was good training to make it across the 1.7 mile path.

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Right before heading to San Francisco, this Claddagh Heart ring arrived in my mail box and I couldn’t have been more excited to have it. Ever since I first saw one on Etsy years ago, I became a little obsessed with them. The symbols in the ring represent love, loyalty, and friendship– things that really represent the group of friends that travel together every year.

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