Palm Springs Weekend

Palm Springs. 17 girls. One house. Hot sunny days. Long boozy nights.

As I’m sure you can imagine, it was quite the weekend.

Alas, I took a total of 6 pictures all weekend. ALL weekend.

Lame, I know.

Feeling like I’m in a sorority in a bunk bed room with 5 girls // Out and about in Palm Springs
Cheers! // Pool party at Riviera Hotel


I did capture some of this…

And even some T Swift karaoke!

*thanks to Gretchen for her superb video skills*

I was sincerely hoping that this video would prove that I am, in fact, the phenomenal singer I believe myself to be, and that I don’t actually sound like a dying tone deaf cow, as others have told me.

Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case.

And that arms up in the air pointing thing I’m doing is basically my signature dance move.

I’ve got talent, I know!

You’re welcome.

How was your weekend?

MargaretMay 8, 2013 - 6:14 am

Looks like an amazing weekend! I spent mine on a girls weekend in Chicago…doesn’t look quite as rowdy as yours, but awesome none the less!
Margaret recently posted…Chicago Weekend Part 1

Girls weekends are the absolute best! We did a bach weekend in Miami last year and it was totally out of control and amazing. Palm Springs looks gorgeous! Glad you had fun, lady!
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StephanieMay 8, 2013 - 8:43 am

Oh my goodness that video is priceless! I love hearing about your boozy bachelorette weekends. So much more exciting than my weekends these days! :)
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MoMay 8, 2013 - 9:59 am

For some reason, I couldn’t post on your past posts. I would press “comment” and nothing would happen. Lame. Anyway, I love the video, and your signature dance moves – can’t wait to see those in person sometime! (can we both just re-do our weddings so we can be invited to each others pretty please??)

Julie / BoundMay 8, 2013 - 11:23 am

If there could only be six pictures, those are a pretty fantastic six! My weekend involved a lot of women friends all up in my grill also, which I was pretty obsessed with. Glad you’re having such a fun month!

RachelMay 8, 2013 - 3:18 pm

I like that you got a picture of our bar girlfriend but not one of me. hahah. It was one wild and crazy weekend. I wouldn’t have expected anything less. Fun times.

heather @ fieryandopinionatedMay 8, 2013 - 7:37 pm

haha oh lord, you are brave for posting that video! i hate the sound of my talking voice recorded, so i would do pretty much anything to keep from being filmed singing. also your moves look scarily familiar to me – we’d be quite a pair on the dance floor!

Everyone loves a good girls weekend! Looks like SO much fun!

Alycia Crowley (@alyciagrayce)May 9, 2013 - 10:36 am

this looks like so much fun! i have always wanted to go to palm springs!!!

chantalMay 13, 2013 - 6:40 pm

this looks like an amazing weekend! that pool looks just like vegas (in a good way)!!! you are making me want to go on another girls trip, like yesterday!
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[...] awesome getting to hang out with old friends. Vegas for my best friend’s 30th birthday, bachelorette parties and weddings galore… Over the past couple of months I’ve gotten to see and [...]

250 Words About Me

Okay, so if you read even a quarter of the amount of blogs I do, I’m sure you’ve heard about Jenni from Story of my Life’s Blog Everyday in May challenge. When I first read about this I wasn’t even remotely interested, because I knew there was no way I would blog every single day in the month of May, and I didn’t want to sign up for a challenge I would surely fail. And I still feel that way.

But! (there’s always a but!) Yesterday’s writing prompt was to write the story of you life in under 250 words, and a lot of the blogs I follow participated in it. I loved reading all these little stories. They were full of cute vignettes, and I learned facts about people that I’d never known before.  So I decided to do one of my own.

I’m still not participating in the actual challenge, but if I see a writing prompt that interests me, I might jump on the bandwagon and share it here.

So here you have it. The story of my life in 250 words on the dot:


I was born in Carmel and moved to Palm Springs, California when I was six. I despised living in the desert and was convinced I should have been born in the south, where I thought my prudishness, love of country music, and extreme girlishness would be much more appreciated. Up until my senior year, I positively loathed high school. I was never the popular girl in school.

I went to college at the University of Colorado. I fell in love with Boulder, and with college. For the first time in my life, I felt like I “belonged.” I studied abroad in Perugia, Italy, and my love of travel was ignited. After college I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I worked as a bar maid. When my visa expired six months later, I took what little money I had and flew to Thailand. I  spent the next six months backpacking through Southeast Asia. To date this is one of the best experiences of my life.

When I got back I moved to San Francisco. I knew no one, but within a few months I had a job and new friends that are still some of my very best friends today. One year later I met Kevin. Four years after that we got married. I’ve been here, in San Francisco, for almost seven years now. In many ways my life at 30 is not at all what I pictured, but in the best ways, it’s exactly what I hoped it would be.

College Besties // Striking a prom pose in Dak Lake, Vietnam
First year in San Francisco // Honeymoon bliss in Tulum, Mexico


There’s a whole bunch of other stuff missing, things like relationships and grad school and jobs and more travel and what not, but hey, I only had 250 words, so there you have it!

In other news, tonight I’ll be heading to Palm Springs for my friend Rachel’s bachelorette party. I feel like I haven’t even fully recovered from Austin, yet here I go again. It’s supposed to be HOT (like over 100 degrees hot). Since living in San Francisco I find anything over 90 degrees pretty much unbearable, so I’m not sure how well I’ll fare (how I grew up there is quite baffling), but I’m excited nonetheless.

If any of you out there wrote about your life in under 250 words, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to read all of your stories!


MistyMay 2, 2013 - 6:02 am

It’s a brave challenge! I wish I’d known about it yesterday…

However, it was nice to get to know a little bit more about you since I’ve only been reading you for a few weeks!
Misty recently posted…Choose Happy…

Kaitlyn @ Shoot the BreezeMay 2, 2013 - 6:43 am

I hope to participate everyday in Jeni’s challenge and have so far managed to check Days 1 and 2 off the list. ;) Here’s the link to my story in 250 words- I had a lot of fun with it!
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JessicaMay 2, 2013 - 7:08 am

I feel the same way you do about the challenge. Probably not going to happen, but I want to take part in some of the fun prompts! And I’m really glad you did. I loved reading your mini bio. You stayed in Scotland for a while?! So jealous- for some reason I just feel the need to go there. Totally strange but totally true.
Jessica recently posted…My Story in 250 words: Blog Every Day in May

LaurenMay 2, 2013 - 7:29 am

Serena, I love this!! Can’t wait to see you on Bart in a few short hours!!!
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BrendaMay 2, 2013 - 8:20 am

I was born in Boston, raised mostly on the island of Oahu (Hawai’i), and did not fully speak English until 1st grade. Regarding the language thing, I wasn’t mute, just spoke Spanish first. Since I learned English fully in South Carolina, I had a bit of a southern accent until I moved to Hawai’i and then I picked up a bit of a pidgin accent there. I have a thing with accents actually. I was a very rebellious teenager and at 14 y.o., actually stole my grandfather’s truck in the middle of the night with my cousin and made it as far as the front yard where I crashed into a palm tree (in reverse). Good times. I played electric bass sophomore year of high school and loved Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love the beach and feel most at peace when I’m in the ocean under a sunny blue sky in 85 degree weather. Summer 2007 I lived in Quito, Ecuador and worked at the U.S. Embassy working on the new embassy newsletter and doing other random stuff. I don’t have any tattoos but had a thing for piercings, although with age I have become a bit more conservative. I have a B.A. in Psychology and taking a break from grad school. I am currently nursing a broken heart and don’t see myself dating for a while. I now live near Washington D.C. and absolutely hate 95. Currently wanting to travel more, live an adventure, and lose 85 pounds.

Serena: You’ve lived such an interested life so far!!! A bar maid in Scotland?? Amazing!!

StephanieMay 2, 2013 - 8:37 am

I had no idea you traveled so much during/in college! That’s so cool. Have fun at the bach party :)
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nancy @ adore to adornMay 2, 2013 - 11:26 am

So great to know more about you. Of course, 250 sounds so little when you say phrases like “about me.” What do you leave in and what do you leave out? The good vs. bad? I start becoming way too analytical and critical about myself. (But when am I not that way about myself?!)

Thank you so much for sharing!

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KellyMay 2, 2013 - 1:22 pm

Fascinating!! I wish I’d be so courageous right after college!! Did you travel by yourself?

CamilleMay 2, 2013 - 7:58 pm

Serena it’s great that you took the time to travel after college! It’s still a dream of mine even though I graduated a few years ago. It’s so important to to have an adventure before settling down.

DJMay 4, 2013 - 7:00 am

I love this! I had no idea you were so adventurous. I studied abroad in Edinburgh and I’ve been in love with Scotland since I stepped off the train there.

AudreyMay 7, 2013 - 1:11 pm

I love reading your story, you already lived a full and wonderful life! I love it that you were a bar maid in Scotland. :)

x Audrey

Nicole MarieMay 8, 2013 - 2:25 pm

oh my gosh i had no idea you moved and traveled that much! you are awesome!!

Happy May Day!

I’m sure you’ve seen this photograph a zillion times, but it just doesn’t get old.
It makes me think of Spring and May and sunshine and I love it.

Beautiful photograph © Jessica Nichols and available for purchase here.

Happy hump day!

Did you that today is May Day?
If this means nothing to you, then go check out the post I wrote about it last year.
Go on. Click over. I’ll wait.

Interesting stuff, right?
My family never celebrated May Day,
but I think this is one of the traditions
I want to start celebrating when Kevin and I have kids.

As for me, my May is already jam-packed, and it just started!
Between bachelorette parties and 30th birthday celebrations and weddings,
I don’t have a single weekend to myself this month.
But it’s all fun stuff, so no complaints here.

The weather in San Francisco has been unreal this past week. I’m talking mid-80s.
It’s rare that it gets this warm, so the city has just been alive. People everywhere.
However, I’ve noticed a serious decrease in my productivity when it’s this nice out.
All I want to do is sit in the sun with a nice cocktail and lounge.
How do you year-round warm-weather dwellers get anything done?

Anyway, what are you all up to?
Do any of you celebrate May Day?

SarahMay 1, 2013 - 10:29 am

The weather HAS been amazing in the bay area. I’m so bummed though because it’s going to be pretty warm today and both my kids are home sick =(

- Sarah
A Girl In Transit
Sarah recently posted…A Relaxing Day at a Blow Dry Bar…

nancy @ adore to adornMay 1, 2013 - 10:50 am

I have not personally celebrated May Day but I’ve always thought that I should start. And then of course…I forget about the fact that May comes so fast! Seriously…when did it already become May? Didn’t I just finish saying “Happy New Year’s” ????

Anyway..Happy May Day! I don’t have as elaborate plans as you lucky girl! =) But I hope that I get to have a busy summer!

nancy @ adore to adorn recently posted…Wednesday Whim – Newborn Puppies

Julie / BoundMay 1, 2013 - 1:10 pm

I haven’t yet celebrated May Day like THAT, but it sounds pretty fun :) Sounds like you have a great month ahead of you!
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heather @ fieryandopinionatedMay 1, 2013 - 2:21 pm

i, for one, have never seen that picture but it is beautiful! love it. i’m down to sit in the sun and drink cocktails with you anytime (as long as we bring sunscreen this time around). just say the word!

Kaitlyn @ Shoot the BreezeMay 1, 2013 - 7:00 pm

Oh boy… I am studying abroad in France and I was up for a rude awakening when I realized everything… and I do mean EVERYTHING… was closed for May Day, which we don’t celebrate at all at home (Canada). Whoops!!
Kaitlyn @ Shoot the Breeze recently posted…A Love Poem to My Childhood

chantalMay 3, 2013 - 10:01 am

this weather has been amazing! I have done like nothing at work with it being so nice!

Five Books Every Young Woman Should Read – Link Up!

Happy Sunday! Today I’m hosting a link-up as part of the blogger book swap, and my topic is books that I think all women should read.

Putting this little list together was actually harder than I thought it would be. I started to think about books I read when I was younger that I loved, books that stayed with me, but while I might have loved these books, I didn’t necessarily think all women should read them.

So in the end I picked books about women that made me think about it was like to BE a woman. Books that I think are relevant to women of any age, but especially so to young women.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Every girl should read this book at some point in her life, if for no other reason than the fact that “Mr. Darcy” is a name you will hear throughout your life. The love story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy is one of the great love stories of literature. The book is, of course, lovely as well, but names and stories in this book will be referenced throughout your life, and you don’t want to be in dark!

How to Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran – I’ve written about this book before, so I’ll let that post do the talking. It’s about… feminism! But she writes about it in a way you can actually relate to, as if you were meeting a good friend for a drink at a bar and just happened to fall into a deep conversation about feminist theory and gender inequality and how modern day pornography is affecting our youth. We need to reclaim the word feminism because it’s gotten a bad rap, and this book is a great start.

Half the Sky
by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  – A fantastic book that addresses issue affecting women throughout the developing world. The women in these book have faced unimaginable horrors, from sex trafficking to genital mutilation to infant gendercide. By the time you finish, you’re left inspired to get involved and fight against these injustices. Any book that makes you want to work to make the world a better, safer, place for all women, everywhere, is a book that you should read.

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood – An incredibly well written and thought provoking book about what it would be like if women were no longer in charge of their bodies. Basically, imagine if America was taken over by religious extremists, and as a woman, you became the property of your husband or father. It really makes you think about what it’s like for women in other parts of the world, where this is actually a reality.

He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo – Okay, this is hands down the least serious and most stupid book on this list, but this book was incredibly helpful to me during my single years. I so wish someone had given it to me before I went to college, because it would have saved me hours upon hours of over-analyzing and loads of heartbreak. The advice is so simple it sounds stupid, but sometimes we girls just don’t get it and literally need someone to spell it out for us. That’s what this book does.

Link up!

Now it’s your turn! What are some books that you think all women should read? Link up below!

Martie @ SpunkyrellaApril 28, 2013 - 11:00 am

Funny you chose He´s just not that into you as well ;)

KaityApril 28, 2013 - 11:07 am

I had Pride and Prejudice on my list, too! Gotta love Mr. Darcy :)

I keep seeing How to Be a Woman floating around the internet so I may need to further investigate. Thanks for hosting this week!

Kimberly @ The SimplicityApril 28, 2013 - 11:31 am

I saw the funniest someecard the other day that said, “I thought he was a Mr. Darcy but he turned out to be a Wickham.” Love it! I also adore Caitlin Moran and think that she is hilarious. I saw her interview with KLG and Hoda on the Today Show and they looked so uncomfortable. I feel like Moran represents real, everyday women. She’s awesome. My version of He’s Just Not That Into You would be reading I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. I mean that’s an extreme case of a guy with a serious lack of regard towards anyone but I feel like it would help many a single lady. I have been dying to read A Handmaid’s Tale and I keep seeing it everywhere. I really just need to buckle down and read it.

Thanks for sharing and hosting this week :)
Disregard the tweet, I wasn’t sure if you had access to the Google response or not so I was frantically checking.
Kimberly @ The Simplicity recently posted…2nd Preview to Summer Link-up: 5 Books Every Woman Should Read

LoriApril 28, 2013 - 11:49 am

I thought about adding He’s Just Not That Into You too!
Helped me out after a crummy relationship ended.

Kristen AlexisApril 28, 2013 - 2:06 pm

I can’t wait to read Pride and Prejudice and Half the Sky. They both sound awesome but so also different!
Kristen Alexis recently posted…I can smell summer…(& summer link up!)

MelissaApril 28, 2013 - 4:01 pm

Great choices! I never read Pride & Prejudice but I did love the movie. I’ve never been big on classics. He’s Just Not That Into You- SO KEY TO GIRLS!! Seriously!
Melissa recently posted…Preview to Summer Link-Up: 5 Books Every Young Woman Should Read

ChristineApril 28, 2013 - 9:34 pm

I really want to read How to Be a Woman and He’s Just Not That Into You. They’re definitely on my to-read list.

AudreyApril 29, 2013 - 12:34 am

Such a difficult decision, you really din’t make it easy :)

i love pride and prejudice, it’s one my picks too.

x Audrey

MariaApril 29, 2013 - 5:24 am

I completely agree with The Handmaid’s Tale! Great choice!

MistyApril 29, 2013 - 7:20 am

P & P would make my list too! Hands down!

Half the Sky sounds absolutely amazing!
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AngieApril 29, 2013 - 1:15 pm

I really need to read the Caitlyn Moran book!

AngelMay 1, 2013 - 8:08 pm

It was hard for me not to include Pride and Prejudice on my list! I love all of Jane Austin’s books and I think they should all be read by young women. I still have to read He’s Just Not That Into You, it’s on my list!
Angel recently posted…5 Books Every Young Woman Should Read.

[...] second link up topic for the Preview to Summer Blogger Book Swap is “Five Books Every Young Woman Should [...]

It’s Friday I’m in Love

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It’s Friday I’m in Love!

A few things I’m in love with on this particular Friday…


Michael Shannon enacting the deranged DG sorority letter that went viral last week.
I thought the letter itself was funny, but hearing Michael Shannon read it
takes it to a whole new level.
Also? C*nt punt is my new favorite word
(although I still hate the C word used on its own).


Calisi aka Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones.
If you watch the show and saw last Sunday’s episode,
you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I have a massive girl crush on her.
“All men must die. But we are not men.”


My hot sushi date tonight with two new blog turned real-life friends.
Real life blog friends! This makes me beyond excited.


All of my amazing wonderful non-blog friends.
They are the crème de la crème
and my life would be incomplete without them.


Cowboy boots.
I posted about this a couple days ago, but since Austin, I have become obsessed with cowboy boots. Obsessed.
I have spent way more time than I care to admit looking for boots on sale online.
Funny how when something is originally $450, $210 sounds almost cheap.
(Kevin disagrees.)
(So does my wallet.)


75 degree San Francisco weather.


Last but certainly not least, Kevin. Duh.
Friday and everyday.


What are you loving on this lovely Friday?

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MargaretApril 26, 2013 - 5:35 am

HAHA! Thank you so much for posting the link to that video- I had read the letter, but this makes it SO much better.

Oh and the last episode of Game of Thrones was insane!! Shit went down.
Margaret recently posted…26 awesome things

Drew ElizabethApril 26, 2013 - 5:41 am

I looooove Game of Thrones & I am in even more love with Calisi. She is pretty much bad ass.

eileen ragan | leaner by the lakeApril 26, 2013 - 8:31 am

Blog friends turned real life friends is sort of the best thing ever. I’m meeting one of my blog friends (who is totally now a real friend) in person for the first time this weekend! I’m giddy with excitment!

My boyfriend sent me that sorority letter reading this week and I fell over on my bed laughing. So great. Also, that girl knows wayyyy to many slangs. (c*nt punt ?!?!)

Sushi weekend specials are sort of the best thing ever and I’m officially addicted. Going this weekend as well!

This weekend I’m loving the spring temperatures that have finally reached us in Chicago – this calls for long outdoor runs.

Happy Friday!
eileen ragan | leaner by the lake recently posted…pounding the pavement.

nancy @ adore to adornApril 26, 2013 - 9:38 am

LOVE the reenactment. We’ve been talking about it in the office this week. C-P is definitely being used around here.

Have a great weekend!!

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chantal francoisApril 26, 2013 - 1:57 pm

we need to be blog friends so we can be blog friends turned real friends too!! i absolutely loved that crazy sorority letter…too funny!! have a great weekend!!

TheresaApril 26, 2013 - 2:16 pm

Happy Weekend! :) I need some sushi in my life, stat! What is a good place in the city?

Still jealous about your trip to Austin, we’re planning to go in September and I can’t wait!
Theresa recently posted…Answering Tough Questions

MistyApril 27, 2013 - 5:48 am

GREAT list… Having just recently moved- I so need RL friends. *sigh*
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Kaitlyn @ Shoot the BreezeApril 27, 2013 - 12:35 pm

I really liked Michael Shannon’s reading of the letter too. :) Also, Daenerys Targaryen totally kicked ass in the last episode. That little twist at the end blew. me. away.
I’ve been wanting to get cowboy boots for a really long time lol.
Kaitlyn @ Shoot the Breeze recently posted…Three Favourite Books and a May Challenge

StephanieApril 30, 2013 - 10:05 am

We’re just finishing season two of Game of Thrones but at one point during our dvd marathons, the fiance turned to me and said, “If this show was real, you would be Daenerys Targaryen.” I told him that was the best compliment ever. :)
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