San Francisco Bloggers Meet Up

***I  wrote and scheduled this post prior to learning about the horrific Boston bombing. There is nothing I can say to make sense of what occurred, and my hearts and prayers are in Boston today.***

Last Thursday night the SF bloggers meet up that Stephanie and I put together took place, and it was awesome.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, and before the event I started getting really nervous. Terrible insecure thoughts started running through my mind…  What if I don’t click with anyone? What if I’m not fashionable enough for the fashion bloggers? What if no one shows up? What if this is a super awkward fail of an event?

(If you haven’t realized it by now, I’m superb at over-analyzing!)

Fortunately, none of that happened. Just the opposite, actually.

Almost 20 local bay area bloggers showed up. We talked. We laughed. We drank wine. We joked about how weird it is that we all know so much about each others lives even though we’ve never met. We talked about the blogs we love. And the blogs we don’t.

All of the women that came were just awesome great people, and I feel like I legitimately made some new friends.

The event was held at Pause Wine Bar, and the venue couldn’t have been more perfect. The owner, Chris, was wonderful to work with, and everything was seamless because of him. It was “supposed” to end at 9, but most people stayed until after 10, and a few of us kind of sort of ending up staying until well after midnight and being the last people at the bar…

(My husband said he expected nothing less.)

So, all of this is to say, it was a wonderful time, and I really hope to do it again soon.

Unfortunately, I was a terrible blogger and didn’t take any pictures. Not even one! Isn’t that the cardinal rule of blogging? Especially when you are at a blogging event?

Luckily, Stephanie, being the awesome photographer that she is, took some that she shared with me. Sarah posted some photos over on her blog as well.

Kelli /  Me/ Heather / Mo / Kathleen

Top: Alison / Kelli / Chantal / Lindsay / Theresa
Bottom Row:  Stephanie and me

All photos courtesy of Stephanie Court Photography

Here’s the full list of all the lovely ladies that were able to make it:

Happy blog stalking!

Have you ever been to a blogging event?

P.S. Registration for the Blogger Book Swap started on Sunday, so if you’re interested in participating head on over to Kim’s blog and sign up!

MoApril 16, 2013 - 8:13 am

You guys did such an amazing job! But we do fail as bloggers. Not only did we not get pictures of Thursday, I didn’t get a single one from Saturday either. I’m just the worst. Enjoy your trips this week/weekend!

SarahApril 16, 2013 - 9:34 am

Yay! Thank you so much Serena! I had such a blast meeting all you girls. PLEASE promise to plan another one. I seriously am looking forward to chatting with you all again =)
Sarah recently posted…Big Bubbles…

nancy @ adore to adornApril 16, 2013 - 1:23 pm

WAH…wish I was able to have made it to this. =(
Second time I missed something because of something I couldn’t control. SIGH.
So glad it was such a success. I do hope there’s another time I can make such an amazing meet-up. Everyone seems so lovely.

And yes, I too couldn’t help but make mention of our fellow citizens in Boston. I didn’t know how to address it either since I already had one of my OOTD posts ready. Funny how much I struggle with these situations. My heart is with those affected.

nancy @ adore to adorn recently posted…Willing

nicole marieApril 17, 2013 - 1:14 pm

next one i’ll be there for :)

Lila SmythApril 20, 2013 - 7:39 pm

I am so sad I missed this! I really would love to make it to the next one. It is awesome that you created an event for people to meet up!

kate @ undeniable styleApril 21, 2013 - 11:36 am

Thanks for organizing! It was so fun to meet new people, I’m glad I came! :)
kate @ undeniable style recently posted…Flora Maximus

Bri BinderApril 22, 2013 - 9:14 am

Hey Serena!

This looks SO fun :)
I’d love to join next time you have a blogger meet up. I am new to blogging but love the fact that there is such a great network in SF.


KelliMay 1, 2013 - 10:24 am

I am so behind on blogs (that means my whole life, I’m behind on my whole life) that I am just now reading through all of these posts. That evening was SO fun and I was thankful to have been included! Would love to plan another one again soon and get to know more girls. Thank you for organizing it AND for just being an awesome human in general. :)
Kelli recently posted…Coachella Recap

LauraSeptember 19, 2013 - 2:10 pm

I am sad I was not blogging when you had this! Hopefully in the future – I would love to meet my fellow Bay Area Bloggers!
Laura recently posted…NYC ILY

Updates and whatnot…

Okay, so based on my comments from yesterday’s post,
apparently getting naked at bachelorette parties isn’t normal?
Oh my. I always suspected my friends were kinda pervs.
Hey, to each their own!
*Please note that I promise that if you invite me to your bachelorette I won’t get naked.
Though once intoxicated I will probably try to grab your boob.
It’s just what I do.


Tomorrow is the San Francisco blogger’s meetup.
We currently have over 20 lovely ladies attending (!!!).
Our venue can hold even more, so if you’d like to come
send me or Stephanie an email
and we’ll get back to you with the details.


I’ve gotten a couple questions about the blogger book swap I posted about on Monday.
Basically, if you love reading and are looking for ways to connect with other bloggers,
you sign up, get a book swap partner, and then do all sorts of book loving stuff,
the last of which is sending each other a book.

I participated in the last swap and it was a lot of fun.
Registration for the book swap starts this Sunday, and I’ll have a post with more info then.
In the meantime, you can learn more about the swap over on Kim’s blog.
As a bonus, you also get to see a picture of me attempting to stand on a pile of books.


 And there you have it.
Happy hump day friends, and Go Giants!

Michelle LimApril 11, 2013 - 7:05 am

I will ONLY invite you to my bachelorette party if you promise to get naked.

…okay fine, a boob grab will do.

And P.S. I’m very sad I can’t go to the SF blogger meet-up :(

MistyApril 11, 2013 - 8:34 am

I can NOT wait to sign up! Sounds AWESOME…
Misty recently posted…rainy day confessions…

StephanieApril 11, 2013 - 10:34 am

Can’t wait to hear how the blogger meet up goes. And though I have not personally gotten naked at a bachelorette party, I’ve been to plenty where boobs were flying all around. Your friends look like a fun group!

DorienApril 14, 2013 - 1:20 pm

The part about “I’ll probably grab your boob, that’s just how I am” made me laugh so hard haha. I read your post from yesterday and well, it’s not that weird when you explain it haha. I honestly don’t care around my two best friends either.

Also, I totally joined the book swap, such an awesome idea!

Lila SmythApril 20, 2013 - 7:40 pm

Love your writing style. Thank you for making me laugh out loud :)

Bachelorette Party Debauchery

This past weekend I went to one of my best friend’s bachelorette parties. We rented a house in Healdsburg, a super cute little town in wine country. We ate amazing food. We drank lots and lots of wine. We danced and laughed until tears streamed down our faces. It was a blast.

Now, I don’t know if this is normal, or if my friends are just totally abnormal perverts (my guess is that it may be the latter), but more often than not, at my friends’ bachelorette parties, we get… weird. And by weird, I mean… naked.

Yes, we get naked.

Now, keep in mind that I am NOT a naked person. In my normal life, I’m not one that runs around in my birthday suit. I am the girl that puts her bra on over her shirt before changing at the gym. If I’m changing at home and realize the blinds are open, I shriek and duck. I don’t even feel totally comfortable walking around in my bathing suit. Unless I’m laying out, I’m always wearing a coverup. Me and nudism are not something that go together often.

Yet for some reason, by the time day two rolls around of a girls bachelorette weekend, we’re all running around naked like some weird nudist colony. Well, that, or a scene from a bad college movie, minus the girl on girl action, of course (get your minds out of the gutter!). We flash each other and prance around bare skinned and laugh until we cry. At my bachelorette party, my friend Molly stood up and gave a speech, totally au naturel, and said she had never felt more empowered or liberated as she did right in that moment. We all agreed! We toasted each other and went on to talk about how much we loved each other and declared that we should all be naked more often! We felt so free and comfortable and happy. It was awesome.

I’m sure the multiple bottles of wine helped, but hey, in vino veritas, right?

So when similar things started to transpire at my friend Jean‘s bachelorette last weekend, with a totally different group of girls, I started to wonder if this was a normal thing?

Do other girls get together and get naked at bachelorette parties?

Is it just the excess of estrogen? Or our excitement at having a weekend away from our men? Or having the opportunity to connect with other amazing women, and talk and laugh in ways that you just can’t do when the guys are around?

I don’t know, but I love it.

Because other than that weird aspect, at most of the bachelorette parties I’ve gone to, we don’t do a lot of the typical bachelorette party stuff. We don’t get male strippers. We don’t take body shots off douchey guys. We don’t wear matching bachelorette themed clothing. Most of the time we barely even leave our rental house! While we do have some of the usual penis paraphernalia, and we play the stupid but always fun games, that’s really about it. We just hang out and lay out and talk and drink. And then somehow over the course of the weekend, we get naked. This isn’t a sexualized thing, not at all. It’s more about being in a group of women where you feel comfortable enough to just let loose and feel confident in your skin. And as a non-naked person, it really is kind of liberating.

And with that, behold some photos from this weekend. As you can see, minus the naked debauchery (of which no photographic evidence exists, fortunately), we’re actually a pretty classy group.

Well… we try to be, at least!

Have you ever gotten au naturel at a bachelorette party? What’s your craziest/most fun bachelorette party experience?

WendyApril 9, 2013 - 7:21 am

Hello Spillerena, It’s been so long since I have been at a bachelorette party and back in the day when I did it was a really looong time ago. So, I’d like to comment on another aspect of your weekend. You are right about getting together with a group of women you trust and love. It is empowering to come together as women and to honor each other, to honor your womanhood. There’s nothing more gratifying and that can put a smile on your face faster then when that happens. Be grateful for these beautiful connections and do not stop honoring them. Especially as the years go by they will become more important and much needed weekends. Make sure to continue the celebration of your womanhood and don’t be afraid to mix the age group up a little. I’m available when you do! Love you

MoApril 9, 2013 - 8:30 am

This is hilarious. I am a non-naked person too (I do the same thing at the pool with a cover-up; I even usually lay there for a bit with a cover-up on before I decide I’m being ridiculous). I can easily say that, no, I have never gotten naked with my girl friends, but it is awesome that you have such a tight-knit group of girls that feel comfortable and empowered doing so in each others presence!

nancy @ adore to adornApril 9, 2013 - 10:32 am

lol you crazy party animals! I have not been to many bachelorette parties…in fact, I haven’t been to any except if my own (if you can call it that even). But I guess “never say never” right?
nancy @ adore to adorn recently posted…Winning

StephanieApril 9, 2013 - 11:36 am

Girl, you crazy! I’ve only been to two bachelorette parties and neither involved nudity. Sounds like you had a lot of fun though! :)

TheresaApril 9, 2013 - 12:37 pm

That sounds like a very successful bachelorette party! I think your friends would get along with my friends, ha! We do a girls trip every year, and last year rented a house in Healdsburg, it was SO much fun! This year we’re going to Vegas!

ShannonApril 10, 2013 - 10:02 pm

I was at a different bachelorette the same weekend…many people also got naked. Totally normal

Greetings from Austin! | SpillerenaApril 19, 2013 - 8:17 am

[...] of that, I highly doubt that there will be any sort of naked debauchery, but I’m sure we’ll be getting into other kinds of [...]

SueFebruary 25, 2014 - 1:03 pm

I was at one bachelorette party with some nudity. When it got late and the crowd was gone. The last 3 of us went naked in the hot tub. I too am not a naked type person but it felt kind of special to be a little bit naughty as a group.

Preview to Summer Book Swap Giveaway!

Hello friends! I realize I kind of pulled a disappearing act last week (only one post? what?!), but life was busy and blogging had to take a back seat. But! I am back, and I’m so excited to start off this week introducing an awesome book swap, and, even more fun, a giveaway!

A few weeks ago Kimberly reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in co-hosting her next blogger book swap. As an avid reader and fellow book lover, I was delighted. With summer just a couple of months away (craziness!), we thought this would be a great way to lead into the sunshine and hopefully provide you all with some awesome books for those long lazy summer days.

The theme of this book swap is “Preview to Summer.” We’re looking for bloggers who love books as much as we do, and are excited about the prospect of meeting another awesome fellow book lover blogger. Along with me, Kim from The Simplicity, Maria from I Believe in Story, Caroline from Coffee, Clothes and Conversation, Nina from run(dance)love, and Martie from Spunkyrella are all hosting this swap, and to start it off with a bang, we’re all giving away one of our favorite books… all you have to do is blog hop! To enter, hover over this picture and visit the different blogs to enter and win.

Maria @ I Believe in Story Kim @ The Simplicity Serena @ Spillerena Martie @ Spunkyrella Nina @ run(dance)love Image Map

As you can see from the graphic above, I’m giving away the eBook version of How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran. You might remember that my book club and I read this book, and I absolutely loved it. I felt so empowered after reading it, and I’m hoping whoever wins it will feel the same. To enter, take part in the rafflecopter giveaway below, and then get blog hopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 P.S. The SF Blogger Meetup is just a few days away! If you’d still like to come but haven’t RSVP’d, let me know and I’ll send you the info!

Julie / BoundApril 8, 2013 - 10:23 am

How fun! Can’t wait to get involved in anything reading-oriented. Books = life. Love.
Julie / Bound recently posted…Lesser of Two Evils

eileen ragan | leaner by the lakeApril 8, 2013 - 11:33 am

Have totally been considering reading Great Gatsby over again before seeing the film this Spring (!!!!). I recall reading it in highschool and being completely enamored with the story, but have since forgotten some of the writing that I know would enhance the film experience.

Thanks for the reminder! And what a lovely idea!
eileen ragan | leaner by the lake recently posted…Mindful Health: A Gratitude Journal Of My Own

[...] definitely do! There's the opportunity to win five free books, just make sure to blog hop (1-2-3-4-5). It's a pretty sweet deal for any book fan. Now, let's meet the Book Swap Team: I'm [...]

LoriApril 16, 2013 - 9:39 pm

Love that you are having a book swap… my blog partner and I are actually co-hosting a book swap over on our blog as well (or trying to, anyway- it is our first time doing something like this)!
I think it is such a cool idea.

College is for your MRS Degree? Who knew!

“Forget about having it all, or not having it all,
leaning in or leaning out …
Here’s what nobody is telling you:
Find a husband on campus before you graduate.
Yes, I went there.”

-Susan Patton

Okay friends. I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the article Susan Patton, a 1977 Princeton graduate, wrote in the Daily Princetonian, “Advice for the young women of Princeton: the daughters I never had,” in which she says that women (who are we kidding… girls, really) in college need to forget about having it all, and instead, find a husband. This may be old news to you, but I’m a little late to this party and didn’t really hear about it until this morning.

I mean… I just… what?!? I am completely and utterly dumbfounded by this lady.

Her article goes on to say:

“Here is another truth that you know, but nobody is talking about. As freshman women, you have four classes of men to choose from. Every year, you lose the men in the senior class, and you become older than the class of incoming freshman men. So, by the time you are a senior, you basically have only the men in your own class to choose from, and frankly, they now have four classes of women to choose from. Maybe you should have been a little nicer to these guys when you were freshmen?”

Okay, so I didn’t go to Princeton. I went to what Ms. Patton would probably consider a college of “no name recognition,” so perhaps I’m just not up to date with how Ivy Leaguers think, but let me tell you, if you told me when I was 18 that I needed to make sure I’d found myself a husband by the time I was 22? I would have freaked the eff out. In what universe is this woman living in if she thinks that most college kids are ready to get married? Most people at 22 and 23 years old are still trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of this life of theirs. I don’t believe that marriage is something most 22 year old kids are ready for.  I mean, how can you argue that guys doing repulsive crap like this are ready to get married? Give me a break.

(although I’m sure Ms. Patton would say “Princeton students don’t act like that.”)  (and as a side note, nor did anyone at my college. that I know off, at least.)

Now, I know not everyone is like this. Some of you out there married young, and it has worked great for you. I think that is wonderful! Many of my good friends met their future spouses in college, and that’s awesome. But I don’t think that is the norm, nor do I think anyone should feel any pressure that it should be.

I met my husband when he was 30. And I’m so thankful I did, because I can pretty much guarantee that if I met him when he was in college, we would not have clicked. At all. He needed to grow up. I needed to grow up. We both needed to “sow our wild oats” and get some stuff out of our system before we were mature enough to decide to spend our lives together. If I met him in college, I honestly don’t think it would have worked out between us. Which is why I’m very glad I didn’t meet him in college. Because he’s the one for me, and that would have been sad.

Also, why is it okay for men to date younger women but not the opposite way around? Granted, Kevin is older than me, so that doesn’t apply to me to now, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with women dating younger men. Most of the guys I dated pre-Kevin were younger than me. Two of the happiest married people I know are in a relationship in which the wife is five years older than her husband. And how does this work with same-sex couples? This is not 1950.

Some of my cousins attended a very religious private college, and if I were to ask them what they thought of this “advice,” they would probably agree with it. Because they went to school to get their MRS degree. They would actually say this to me, jokingly, but not really. They all found their husbands in college, got married during their senior year or shortly thereafter, and then quickly had kids and became stay at home moms. For them, this was the right decision, so  I know that there are people out there that may agree with this advice. I’m not naive enough to think that my liberal SF views are the norm, either.

But I don’t think that college girls should be aspiring to find their husbands. I think they should be aspiring to “have it all” and to “lean in” and to kick ass and become an awesome, smart, independent young woman! If they happen to find a husband while achieving those things, more power to them! But let’s keep our priorities in order, shall we.

I’m very thankful that Ms. Patton isn’t my mother, or my mother-in-law. And I already feel for the poor women who marry into that family! Can you imagine?

And… end rant.

Have you read Ms. Patton’s article? What’s your take on it?

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MargaretApril 2, 2013 - 12:05 pm

Her article definitely rubbed me the wrong way. That being said, I did meet my husband in college…but it was definitely not my top priority- just a happy coincidence. And when I met him in college, I sure as hell wasn’t thinking he would be my husband- I was only 19!

I really like how you said it though- “I think they should be aspiring to “have it all” and to “lean in” and to kick ass and become an awesome, smart, independent young woman! If they happen to find a husband while achieving those things, more power to them!”
Margaret recently posted…Holy 6 Months!

AliceApril 2, 2013 - 1:35 pm

Your take on this is brilliant. I am 23, single and while I’m a bit scared of getting old alone, it really is OK. Because my god I am NOT ready to be a wife just yet!!!
I did NOT go to university to meet a future husband- hell, that’s a bloody expensive way of going about it! If I had, then that would have been great, but psh, not what I was there for.
I do want it all- I want a career and a family and a husband. But being ME, alone or with another person, is definitely top of my list of priorities. xx
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Julie / BoundApril 2, 2013 - 1:55 pm

What a complete nutter this woman is. Granted, I did meet my husband in college (freshman year, in fact) but he didn’t become my husband for about eight years after that. Why? Because even though we loved each other, we were fetuses and had to grow up to see if your relationship was going to stand the test of becoming adults. Which it did, but it easily could have gone the other way if we had been slightly different people.

College is a great place to meet someone, but only because it’s a giant group of people who are all your age and looking to mingle and have fun. It’s not a great place to head in with the expectation that you’re going to make your soulmate connection happen. Shouldn’t you be a little more focused on, oh, I don’t know…making lifelong friends and getting an education?
Julie / Bound recently posted…Bunny Love

eileen ragan | leanerbythelakeApril 2, 2013 - 7:07 pm

Yikes – this article made my skin crawl. This reminds me of last month when I watched Mona Lisa Smile and cried my entire way through the film after realizing that no, this isn’t a light-hearted Julia Roberts rom-com and yes, this is a film about women in the 50s forgetting future use of an ivy league degree and focusing on the sole purpose of wifery.

Thanks for sharing. I’ll be linking up with this one this week for sure.

RebeccaApril 2, 2013 - 7:53 pm

Well said! I love love love this. I am a recent college grad. I have a stable job, live alone, have a good group of friends and I’m SINGLE. And I couldn’t be happier with my life. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a guy in my life, but I don’t NEEEEEED a guy in my life to be happy or successful.
Rebecca recently posted…Fitness is Fun!

CamilleApril 2, 2013 - 10:42 pm

Okay so I’m going to play devil’s advocate, slightly. Not saying I agree with the article because it very pushy. But I will say that having it all means something different for everyone. All depends what you value more. I met my now husband as a teen. We started dating my freshman year at Harvard and I invested a lot in our relationship. I made tough career sacrifices after graduation because getting married was a priority. I’m married now, the only one out of all my friends. It’s hard being the oddball with friends and in society too. But I’m happier being married than I would have been as a career woman. But I knew a lot of girls at Harvard who were looking for “Mr. Right”!
Camille recently posted…Favorite Bloggers and Their Homes

ritaApril 3, 2013 - 7:19 am

ha. while this letter is absurd i also think it’s sort of hysterical – i agree with the main point (marry someone of an equal or higher intelligence level- although i know that is not important to everyone) but the delivery/premise of how to do that is inane at best. but who wants to take relationship advice from a divorcee anyways? clearly she can’t confirm that is what was best to do!

matt is also five years older than me, and i can’t imagine what my life would be like if i had ended up with any of the dbags i dated in college. it took me growing up and realizing i had value to find someone who felt the same… must be b/c i went to a big 10 vs. ivy:)
rita recently posted…learning: styling your space

KaitlynApril 3, 2013 - 7:48 am

UGH. Okay. So I hadn’t read this article until you posted about it. There’s just so much wrong with it I don’t even know how to begin. Her haughty attitude really grates. I don’t know who in their right mind would think that the purpose of these institutions and their plethora of resources is to facilitate engagements. Ridiculous!!! I do think it’s totally fine to marry young(er) if that’s what works right for you and your partner, but… like you, I also highly doubt that the majority of college-aged kids are ready for that. Personally, I’m a third-year university student, and the thought of “needing” to get engaged by next year is making me break out in hives. And the implication that women have to be younger bugs me too.

I don’t know, to me college/university is about furthering your education and becoming a better person… if that happens to involve getting engaged along the way, fine, but I really don’t think it should be the goal and it bugs me big time that people view universities as places OTHER THAN institutions for learning.

StephanieApril 3, 2013 - 10:43 am

Ugh, I saw this the other day and was so disgusted I couldn’t bring myself to read her open letter. If I had married my college boyfriend, I would’ve ended up divorced by 30. And if I had met my fiance in college, I highly doubt we would’ve liked each other, much less dated. Plus, the whole notion that a woman does not have a complete life unless she’s married -which this article definitely seems to imply- just drives me nuts.
Stephanie recently posted…16 Photos and 4 Goals | How’s that for a literal post title?

NinaApril 4, 2013 - 7:27 pm

I heard about this today and all I can think is THANK GOODNESS I am not of her mindset. I did meet my boyfriend when I was in college…he graduated college long ago, he is 15 years older than me. And there is NO WAY we would be together if I was dating his 22 year old college self. I went to an arts school, theatre degree, not too many guys in the first place, and the “pickings” for single and straight were slim. Let alone single, straight, and somebody I was attracted to (or would have been if I wasn’t with my boyfriend.)

nicole marieApril 7, 2013 - 6:44 am

I used to joke with my parents that i was going to school to get my mrs degree…. knowing full well i wasn’t gonna meet anyone at sfsu that stood up to my expectations.
there’s also no way i was ready to even think about marriage in college… i wasn’t even ready for the 4 year relationship i was in!

i do have to say that meeting someone in college and marrying them seems sooooo much easier than to find someone now, especially in sf where boys run around like peter pans with plenty of girls to keep them entertained. One of my best friends married her college bf. They didn’t get married till last year (several years out of college and they did break up during college and date other people) but sometimes i’m a little envious that they found each other and don’t have to deal with all the BS the rest of us out of college single girls do