Vegas Bound!

I’m off to Las Vegas to celebrate my best friend Katie‘s 30th birthday. It’s a super short trip… just one night. We’ll be back in SF within 30 hours. We’re crazy like that.

Strangely, I’ve never done a friends Vegas trip before. I’ve been there quite a few times, but it’s either been work related, just me and Kevin, or before I was the drinking age of 21, so I’ve never really done the crazy friends Vegas party.

I’m excited! But also a little nervous… we are staying at the Venetian, and when I looked up #taobeach on instagram… lots of pictures like this popped up:

and this…


I am old now, and my pool attire now consists of a large loose coverup, a huge sun hat, a good book, and lots of sunscreen. I fear I’m going to look like a fish out of water in this crowd! And don’t get me started on the amount of pictures of people doing naked shots I saw… I mean, lord knows I love my vino, and I’ll take a dirty martini any day, but I gave up shots long ago.

Here’s to hoping I survive!

Happy Saturday friends!


brianneMay 25, 2013 - 10:21 am

have so much fun! and don’t forget about “friendship shots”!!! :)

StephanieMay 25, 2013 - 10:39 am

Good luck! We faced a similar pool crowd on a girls trip to Vegas a couple years ago. Luckily we found a corner of the pool area far enough away from the DJ where people were just lounging and reading. Hopefully you’ll find something like that to sneak away from all the drunk 21-year olds!
Stephanie recently posted…Someone Once Told Me

heather @ fieryandopinionatedMay 25, 2013 - 12:22 pm

the one and only time i went to vegas i stayed at the venetian and went to tao beach one day. it is really like those pictures. but there is a huge normal pool, too. when you get tired of the thumping music and drunk naked people, escape to the other pool for a few. :) SO jealous of your pool time either way!

Nicole MarieMay 28, 2013 - 12:08 pm

i am neither young enough, tan enough or anorexic enough to hang out by that pool

Feeling Slumpish

“Most unhappy people need to learn just one lesson: how to see themselves through the lens of genuine compassion and treat themselves accordingly. ”

— Martha Beck

Copyright the awesome and hilarious Allie Brosh of Hyperbole And A Half

I’ve been in a funk lately. A slump, a rut, whatever it is you’d like to call it. I’m trying my best to snap out of it, but it’s easier said than done. But… I’m trying. I came across this quote on today (yes, when I’m feeling low, I sometimes turn to Oprah. I’m just as embarrassed by that fact as you are, trust me) and it really resonated with me. So I’m going to try to take the extraordinary Martha Beck’s advice, a woman whom I admire so much, and try to treat not only myself, but others around me, through the lens of compassion. This too, is easier said than done, especially when you’re faced with people that act in ways that make compassion extremely difficult, but I’m going to try my best.

Any of you feeling particularly slumpish lately? Let’s commiserate together!

SonjaMay 23, 2013 - 7:47 am

I loathe slumps too, and it feels like there’s often nothing we can do to get out of them, just have to ride it out. I’ve been in a big slump this year because I hate my job. So I keep saying to myself that I have a great life – 2 awesome kids, husband, family and friends, etc etc. But it’s soooo much easier said than done to just bust out of a slump. I love that quote though, thanks for sharing, it helps! Good luck with your slumpy-slump :)

StephanieMay 23, 2013 - 9:19 am

I can totally relate. I was feeling very slumpish for a few weeks it seemed but I’m starting to come out of it. It helps that wedding season started up. I’m too busy to be in a slump!

Hope you’re feeling better soon – and keep up the positive attitude. :)
Stephanie recently posted…Sneak Peek | Laura + Brian

ritaMay 23, 2013 - 11:24 am

i totally feel you – and i’m sorry! slumps are the worst.

i say go get a haircut/blowout/manicure and schedule a fun dinner or a quick trip. those are the best ways for me to get out of my head!

take care of yourself!

nancy @ adore to adornMay 23, 2013 - 11:42 am

You have no idea how much I relate to this. The funk has been around for a bit…much longer than I care to admit. I wish the aura of positivity would last longer than the mere moment where I read an inspiring quote like you or feel a moment of gratitude. But, I’m still incredibly hopeful that things will pick up emotionally and soon I won’t need to lament about such feelings. =)

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nicole marieMay 23, 2013 - 12:38 pm

i’m right there with you. i feel like last week and a lot of this week i was in such a foul mood. i am so excited to move back to sf and it’s really hard not wishing for time to hurry up when really i should be enjoying my last months here but… ugggg!!!!

MoMay 23, 2013 - 2:02 pm

Sorry you’re feeling this way :( I sometimes just feel really sad or guilty and I can’t figure out why – is just this weight down feeling on my chest that I have no right to have! Hope you get some time to rejuvenate and get to feeling back to yourself soon!

PS – seriously with the Allie Brosh? I love her. She came back for like a day a couple weeks ago and I was so excited. I knew you and I were meant to be ;)

heather @ fieryandopinionatedMay 23, 2013 - 6:51 pm

i’m sorry! i, too, know the feeling. from all these comments it looks like we all just feel that way sometimes, unfortunately. maybe you’re just feeling drained because you’ve been SO busy lately? hopefully you can get some ‘me time’ soon! or if you need wine and some friends to complain to – you know where to find us. :)

Conversations at Sea

When I was in grad school a few years ago, I did a summer graduate internship with Semester at Sea. For those of that are unfamiliar with this, it’s a pseudo-study abroad program in which students spend a semester living (and supposedly studying) on a cruise ship, and it stops at various places around the world. If all goes as planned, the students get a semester worth of college credit, while getting to visit and experience cultures and amazing places all around the world.

Sunset on the ship   //  The MV Explorer: My home for Summer 2010
(photos taken from facebook, please excuse the crappy quality)

Since travel is one of my true passions in life, this opportunity sounded perfect to me. While I’m not going to get into exactly what this experience was like for me, I will say that I think Semester at Sea is a very different experience when you’re 19-21, as opposed to when you are 27 or older. Living in dorms and being surrounded by 500+ college kids was very different from what I expected. Getting the opportunity to travel all around the world by ship is, no doubt, amazing, but I don’t think it is on par with the experience of living and immersing yourself in a foreign culture for an extended period of time, as a traditional study abroad program provides.

I did a summer semester, and my route took me across the Atlantic ocean and through the Mediterranean. Yesterday Kevin came across an old tumblr I had started to document this experience, and reading it was such a blast from the past. One of the things I did most frequently was post conversations I would overhear students say, because, let me tell you, I heard some doozies. The stuff these kids would say was beyond hilarious. So amusing, in fact, that I decided these conversations needed to live here on this blog, too.



Overheard before arriving in Turkey:

SAS Student: Why do I need a Turkish visa if I already have a credit card?


Overheard while trying to study out on the deck:

Girl: Why is this taking so long? Aren’t we there already? That must be Barcelona! (pointing to what we have been told multiple times is Morocco).

Other Girl: The Pacific Ocean is just so big.

(for those of you that didn’t pick up on this yet, we were crossing the Atlantic ocean)


Overheard on our way to Greece:

SAS Student:  “Can I exchange my Italian Euros for Greek Euros?”


Overheard at the Parthenon in Athens:

SAS Student 1: What are you doing when we get to Egypt?

SAS Student 2: I don’t know, I think I signed up for a safari or something.

SAS Student 1: Uh, no you didn’t, it’s not like it’s Africa!


Overheard while walking the city walls in Dubrovnik, Croatia:

Tour Guide: This is where the prince was decapitated.

SAS Student: Did he die?


Overheard in Italy:

SAS Student: “How long is the bus ride to Capri?”


And because parents can be “funny” too…

Overheard by a parent visiting their child in Egypt:

SAS Parent: I need someone who speaks the language to help me.

Tour Guide: I can help, I speak Arabic.

SAS Parent: No, I need someone who speaks Egyptian.

heather @ fieryandopinionatedMay 22, 2013 - 8:41 am

ohhh stupid people… why are you so hilarious?? these are amazing. i was trying to pick my favorite, but i just can’t. turkish visa and someone who speaks egyptian are up there though!

MoMay 22, 2013 - 10:32 am

While those are all SO cringeworthy (and part of the reason that Americans get such a bad rap abroad), it is good that those kids were out there, experiences new things, and hopefully learning a lot so as not to make the same faux pas’ in the future. We can only hope, right??

eileen ragan | leaner by the lakeMay 22, 2013 - 10:39 am

Oh man, I always wanted to do a semester at sea program! I think this was partly after seeing an awesome MTV show about it at the beginning of reality tv.

Also, clear fave of mine: SAS Student: Why do I need a Turkish visa if I already have a credit card?

Awesome that you documented these! My boyfriend saves quotes of funny things I say and it’s so great to look back years later and laugh.
eileen ragan | leaner by the lake recently posted…totally tulip.

AliceMay 26, 2013 - 2:03 pm

Oh my god these are HILARIOUS. The Turkish visa one is HYSTERICAL. I appreciate that not all Americans say such silly things, and Brits certainly do it too- but ky ex lives in Guernsey, and he said that some of the things American tourists used to say were hilarious- for instance, “What time does the noon gun salute happen?”. Oh dear. xx
Alice recently posted…On Singledom, Independence, And Being 23

HollyJune 4, 2013 - 8:44 am

HAHAA! Thanks for the memories! I submitted one of those to Tom :).

A Girl and Her Boots

Once upon a time,
there was a girl who loved boots.

When she was in Austin, Texas
She went to a thrift store,
and bought these lovelies.

It was her first “real” thrift store purchase,
and this made her feel very hip.
(though her friends told her that declaring yourself hip,
kind of makes you the opposite.)

For two weeks,
she wore these boots as much as possible.
And then, on one fateful Friday night,
this happened.

Her thrift store boots
turned out to be not so thrifty.

And she was very sad.

The end.


As mentioned in my little story above, I’m not really a thrift store shopper. I’m not so good at the whole digging around part, and very rarely find stuff that looks good. I have friends who are fabulous at this, who always find the best stuff and always look incredible, and I’m in awe of them, because that is just a skill I don’t have.

So for my very first real thrift store to end so terribly? I was highly disappointed.

Are you a big thrift store shopper? Tell me your secrets!

StephanieMay 15, 2013 - 12:49 pm

Oh no!!! Those boots are so cute, too. What a shame. You might try a shoe repair place to get them re-soled. I’ve heard good things about this place and am thinking about taking some of my not-so-gently-worn boots in, too.
Stephanie recently posted…Engaged | Anna + Tyler

Julie / BoundMay 15, 2013 - 3:33 pm

Nooooooo!! I’m literally the worst ever, just going in there makes me all break-out-in-hives-y. I can’t sift through piles. You know who’s really amazing at it, though? Megan of She’s a beast!

Also…guess who might be coming back to SF in a few weeks…
Julie / Bound recently posted…Planting the Flag: Part Two

heather @ fieryandopinionatedMay 15, 2013 - 8:40 pm

still cannot stop laughing at that picture…
heather @ fieryandopinionated recently posted…but i am le tired…

MoMay 16, 2013 - 7:37 am

Your poor boots :(

And I am the WORST at thrifting. I really just don’t have the patience for it. I don’t love shopping to begin with, so when it’s made more difficult, I really can’t stand it.

Jamie || Hello Little ScoutMay 16, 2013 - 11:52 am

Cute boots!!

chantalMay 16, 2013 - 1:22 pm

aww so sad!! they were a good find at first! I am a terrible thirft store shopper. if you get any good tips, please share!!
chantal recently posted…more of life lately

Blog Rut, Revisited

Source Unknown

I don’t know what’s going on with me, but lately I’ve had a major case of writer’s block. I try to come up with a post and just… nothing happens. Or I write something, read it, and then realize it’s complete crap and not worth posting. Yesterday I wrote a post about an embarrassing moment (I was inspired by all of the ones I read from the “Blog Everyday in May” challengers), but then after actually reading it I realized that not only was it probably a bit inappropriate (it took place at a gynecologists office), it was also one of those stories that just wasn’t as funny if not told in person. And then I get annoyed at myself for wasting all this time on something I wouldn’t even post.

So I don’t know what’s up with me and this lack of blogging inspiration. I have no reason to not be inspired… my life is good right now.  I’ve been super busy with lots of fun stuff, and usually when I’m busy having fun, blog content inevitably follows. But for whatever reason, I’m just not feeling it lately.  I’ve had a couple of these “blog ruts” before, but they usually only last a few days. This one has been going on a few weeks…

Hopefully I’ll snap out of this soon (and if you have any tips, please share!), but in the meantime, I was going through photos on my phone and saw this one and started laughing. So of course I have to post it here.

Masks from Bell Jar Boutique

Are these not the creepiest/most hilarious masks you’ve ever seen?

How are you all doing? Anyone else having the blog rut blahs like me?

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Jamie || Hello Little ScoutMay 14, 2013 - 11:12 am

Don’t worry, we all go through our phases! This was a great post!

SonjaMay 14, 2013 - 11:26 am

I don’t write a blog, so I can’t help with the rut. But ever since I’ve been reading your blog, I’ve enjoyed every single post, if that helps at all?!? You have a natural way of writing that makes me feel connected…and since I love love love San Fran, I can live vicariously through you :)

JessicaMay 14, 2013 - 11:39 am

Yup, it happens to the best of us. I usually just get inspired by other bloggers’ posts. And I agree if you are having fun in real life, usually it transfers into your blog. It will pass I’m sure. XO!
Jessica recently posted…Come on Get Happy!

Julie / BoundMay 14, 2013 - 1:17 pm

Ummm, yes, I have these all the time. So annoying. Usually I just have to push through them, and then it all becomes fun again. Or I just try something totally different. Like…write a guest post for someone else’s blog :)
Julie / Bound recently posted…M’s Steak Sauce

nicole marieMay 14, 2013 - 1:25 pm

those are soooo creepy!!!! oh my gosh!!

everyone needs a blogging break. i think it’s good to just step back when you feel like that. no need to put pressure on yourself and force a blog post.

nancy @ adore to adornMay 14, 2013 - 2:37 pm

When I first started to blog, it wasn’t a “personal style” blog. In fact, I thought I was writing to be more of a curator of things inspirational. It was tough thinking of topics on a daily basis. In fact, it led me to not post very often since I really didn’t want to post just to post…then I thought, maybe…try…an outfit post? It’s perhaps easier to post compared to a really thought out post? But…I guess what I’m trying to get at it…is that having a writer’s block is completely normal. If you didn’t then I’d say you were lucky! =)
nancy @ adore to adorn recently posted…Love All Around

ShaylaMay 15, 2013 - 6:50 am

I feel like I’ve been in a blog rut for MONTHS and it’s annoying — I don’t want to not blog but I don’t want to write just to fill space. I feel your pain!
Shayla recently posted…Catching Up: First Trimester

eileen ragan | leaner by the lakeMay 20, 2013 - 7:57 pm

Do not fret! Just keep on enjoying your lovely happy life. The content will come. Plus, remember that this space is for you! Enjoy it and don’t make it a burden on yourself. Take a breather, brainstorm some posts on your downtime and you’ll be back to content bubbling in no time.


My boyfriend is obsessed (so weird) with art involving creepy masks. Totes showing him your photo!
eileen ragan | leaner by the lake recently posted…A Peek Inside: Houseplant Haven